Premier Dental of Beavercreek: Understanding Cavities

Many people are familiar with the term cavities in dental health, but few truly understand its implications. Cavities range from early, reversible spots on teeth to severe decay that can necessitate tooth extraction. Here, we focus on treatable cavities, leaving more extensive decay discussions for our Tooth Decay/Rot page.

What is a Cavity?

A cavity is a bacterial infection affecting the hard structure of a tooth. Enamel, the hardest substance in the human body, protects teeth during eating and drinking. Beneath enamel lies dentin, a slightly softer material that forms the bulk of each tooth.

Cavities are caused by bacteria in dental plaque, which produce acids that penetrate the enamel layer covering the tooth. While sugar is often blamed, it's the acid produced by bacteria that softens enamel, allowing them to invade. Once inside, bacteria continue to erode healthy tooth structure, eventually causing a hole in the tooth — officially termed caries.

Why Is It Important to Treat Cavities?

Left untreated, cavities worsen over time, progressing toward the tooth's nerve and blood vessels in its hollow center. Enamel and dentin cannot regenerate naturally once lost, underscoring the need for dental intervention.

Cavities can lead to tooth sensitivity, pain, and infections. They can also mar your smile with unsightly brown or black spots.

What Treatment is Necessary for Cavities?

Treatment depends on the cavity's size:
- Early cavities that haven't breached enamel can often be remineralized. This involves enhancing daily oral hygiene and applying strengthening materials professionally.
- Cavities that penetrate enamel and affect dentin require removal and filling with dental material to restore both appearance and function.
- Larger cavities that weaken the tooth may necessitate a dental crown to protect and reinforce it.

Schedule an Appointment to Treat Your Cavities

If you're experiencing tooth pain, it could be a cavity. Let our caring dentists at Premier Dental of Beavercreek assess your condition and devise a treatment plan to resolve your dental issues. With convenient online scheduling, we are here to help you maintain a healthy smile.

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