So you’re brushing your teeth one day and you notice a tiny dark spot on one of them. What you’ve just noticed is a cavity, a common dental issue that brings many Americans to the dentist each year.
Usually, a cavity is treated by first cleaning out all the decayed tissue from the tooth, then applying a dental filling to restore the tooth’s full strength and look.
But one can’t help but wonder: is there a way to reverse a cavity before going through that dreaded dental drill?
Check out this short blog post from Sutter Dental Collective below to find out!
The human mouth has a lot of harmful bacteria. Every time you eat and drink, this bacteria will try to feed on whatever food particles are left in the mouth.
When they feed, bacteria begin to release acids which slowly break down the tooth enamel, leading eventually to a cavity. These look like tiny holes that form in the outer layer of the tooth.
However, once that hole exists, it doesn’t stop there. Think of a cavity as a new path for bacteria to enter the tooth and continue to break down its layers, until it can even reach the nerves and root.
Untreated cavities gradually get worse, and the tooth may even become infected. As a result, treating a cavity is a major priority.
Tooth decay actually happens in 4 stages:
The only stage that can be reversed is the demineralization stage. By this point, the enamel is only exposed to the acids released by bacteria, but the cavity hole has not formed yet. Therefore, you can reverse this process by improving your oral hygiene routine and even seeing your San Francisco preventative dentist for a professional fluoride treatment.
Once the cavity hole forms, the only way to treat it is with a filling. While other tissues in your body can heal and regenerate, the enamel is unfortunately an exception.
However, getting a filling is nothing to worry about, especially if the cavity is addressed early and it’s still small. The dentist will only use a little bit of resin, just enough to create a seal to prevent more bacteria from getting in and to reshape the tooth.
It’s very important to get a cavity treated from the moment you see the first signs. If that’s you, Dr. Joyce Stein is here to help restore your oral health and treat your cavity.
Book a consultation at Sutter Dental Collective today, and stop by our practice to access top-notice oral care.
Want to learn more about our services? We’d be more than happy to answer all your questions! Feel free to call us at (415) 781-4725 for a chat.