Good oral care is not just for the health of your gums and teeth but also your overall health since your mouth is the entryway for your digestive and respiratory tracks. Because the outer layer of teeth is consistently in contact with bacteria, they turn sugar into acids. In addition to this, we consume acidic food and beverages. This acidic environment results in a decay of the hard surface of teeth. A tooth cavity is an opening or a hole caused by tooth decay. Healthy teeth should not have any cavities, cracks, or grooves.
Is tooth cavity reversible?
Fortunately, a tooth cavity is reversible if caught in the early stages when tooth decay is only on the enamel of the tooth. This is called the demineralization stage. At this stage, enamel can repair itself and good oral hygiene is crucial to restoring the tooth’s enamel. Daily brushing with toothpaste enriched with fluoride is also helpful for the mineralization process. Fluoride aids in strengthening the enamel of the tooth. Daily flossing is also significant during this treatment.
On the other hand, if the demineralization progresses and the decay reaches the dentin below the enamel, it is no longer reversible and needs to be filled. At this stage, there is nothing you can do for the enamel to repair itself.
What does a tooth cavity look like?
In order to catch a cavity in its early stages, you should look for symptoms such as toothache, bad breath, bleeding gums, and sensitivity. Visible signs of a tooth cavity may be discoloration or dark spots on a tooth. Discoloration of any kind whether it be lighter than the rest of your teeth or darker than the rest of your teeth is a significant warning to visit your dentist. There may be holes in your tooth large enough that you can see or feel with your tongue. However, tooth cavities are not always visible. Even dentists sometimes need to probe the tooth or take an x-ray of it to confirm the cavity and its location.
How to fill a tooth cavity at home?
For many reasons which may include high costs, fear of dentists, time restraints, or practicality, you might wonder if there is a way to fill your own tooth cavity at home without going to the dentist. The short answer is yes. The long answer is that tooth decay is a serious condition and if left untreated can lead to infection and even the loos of the tooth. When you try to fill your cavity at home, you do not treat the decay and just fill on top of it. Thus, decaying continues to reach deeper levels of your tooth. In addition to cleaning the infection, dentists also shape your tooth after filling to ensure your tooth aligns perfectly with the rest of your teeth and does not cause any discomfort when you close your mouth. Another consideration when filling a tooth cavity is the filling materials that should be chosen according to the situation.