By age 39, the average American has around 7 teeth that have suffered damage from decay and need to be filled. It’s an exceptionally common occurrence that most of us face at some point. Today, we’re going to learn a little more about what causes cavities, how they’re addressed, and the exciting technologies that are just around the corner for treating this common malady.
What Causes Cavities?
Cavities, in short, are caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms in the mouth. When you eat or drink sugary substances, the bacteria in plaque reacts by producing an acid that, over time, wears at the enamel of your teeth. The holes created in the enamel are called cavities and, without treatment, these small holes create more surface area for the acid to wear at your teeth. Without professional help, cavities continue to worsen, which is why regular visits to your Valencia dentist are so important.
What Is a Filling?
In order to prevent plaque from continually eroding the enamel within the tooth, dentists drill into decaying teeth to create a proper landing for an amalgam or a composite resin—both of which are bacteria-resistant substances. Commonly known as a “filling,” these deposits don't erode, preventing further acid damage.
What Does the Future Hold for Fillings?
As is always the case, there is some exciting dental technology on the horizon. According to an article from The Guardian, scientists are well into the development of a high-tech, completely painless solution to cavities. The treatment, called Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralization (EAER) helps quickly move naturally occurring calcium and phosphate minerals into the decaying tooth. This new technology promises to get cost-efficient and, from the sound it, extremely patient friendly!
What to Do Now
New technologies are exciting and we’re always looking to give our patients the latest and greatest in dental technology, but there’s no substitute for proper, preventive care! To prevent cavities, be sure to brush multiple times per day, avoid sugary foods where possible, and visit your Valencia dentist regularly!