Is It Possible To End Cavities For Good?
For most people, when they get a cavity, their first instincts are to head on over to their local dentist. For some patients, however, the fear of a cavity coming in can be a huge source of stress and can even lead to avoiding treatment and causing that cavity to become worse. New and worsening cavities developing can be a challenging task for dentists in these situations, as dental fillings, tooth extractions, and restorations may be a possibility for their patients depending on the severity of their cavity development. The purpose of dentistry is to help maintain people’s oral health as much as possible, and that includes learning about new techniques that may help not only remove cavities but prevent them for good.
Our Current Methods For Treating Cavities
Cavities are permanently damaged areas along with the enamel of your teeth, developing tiny holes and openings that can leave the inner areas of the tooth vulnerable to bacteria, food particles, and sugars. These factors can cause the tooth to become infected and begin the process of decay, and can spread to other teeth inside the mouth. All of this can occur if there are no measures taken place to protect the teeth and gums from plaque buildup and bacteria.
For patients and dentists faced with this problem, it’s important to treat the issue as soon as possible. Over time, this condition will cause pain and swelling that can lead to chewing problems, broken teeth, and even cause the teeth to become misaligned. Right now, our only prevention methods include treatments such as:
- Brushing with Toothpaste: Toothpaste provides an abrasive, cleaning element that fortifies the tooth’s enamel with fluoride and other essential minerals. Brushing helps remove any present bacteria and plaque from the outside enamel and gums.
- Flossing: Flossing helps to clean in between the teeth, reaching areas where the toothbrushes’ bristles cannot reach and helps prevent periodontal disease.
- Dental Sealants: When cavities form, dentists often provide dental sealants, or a plastic material, to cover the cleaned-out cavity hole and protect the area from further decay.
- Fluoride Treatments: Fluoride treatments help fortify the enamel, bonding with the bone material and strengthening it from bacteria and plaque.
- Staying Hydrated: Drinking more water can help increase saliva production, which helps to remove plaque and bacteria from the mouth to prevent cavities.
- Healthier Dieting: By eating less sugary, carb-filled foods, people can prevent bacteria and plaque from spreading and causing cavities.
Yet as of right now, there is no cure for cavities, and technology has not advanced far enough to regenerate missing enamel back to affected teeth. However, researchers have made some engaging discoveries involving our saliva, as a component of our saliva containing antibacterial properties combined with the effects of phosphoserine can create a new peptide that prevents bacteria from developing.
Caring For Your Teeth and Gums For Life
While researchers are still looking into the effects of our bodies and the world around us to protect us from cavities, it’s important to take part in proper oral hygiene still to protect your teeth from decay. One of the best ways to protect your teeth is by visiting your dentist to learn about better brushing habits, treatment options, and, most of all, cavity prevention.