It’s happened—you were brushing your teeth or flossing and noticed a cavity, or a small area of tooth decay in the middle or outside of your tooth. What happens after you’ve noticed decay, whether it be in a large section of your mouth or just confined to a single tooth? You have several treatment options, so don’t fret just yet! Here are some of the top ways you can treat tooth decay.
Get That Cavity Filled
If your tooth decay is confined to a cavity or two, you can easily call your dentist and have him or her fill in the cavity with a non-mercury filling. You’ll have the choice of different materials when it comes to your filling, and your dentist can help you decide which one is right for you. Often, a composite resin material is best to fill those cavities and match the natural color of your teeth. You may also choose from glass ionomer or porcelain or ceramic fillings, the pros and cons of which you can discuss with your dentist.
If your decay is extensive or spreading throughout your mouth, a fluoride treatment could be beneficial! Fluoride can help to strengthen your enamel, and this mineral is found in many conventional toothpastes. Fluoride treatments can help your teeth to resist the bad bacteria and strong acids that lead to the erosion of your enamel. During this treatment, the fluoride is simply applied to your teeth to help re-mineralize them and help them resist decay naturally. You can talk with your dentist to discover if a fluoride treatment would benefit you.
If your tooth decay has spread to the center of your tooth (where your tooth’s nerves are), you may need to have a root canal procedure done to remove the decay or infection and replace it with a synthetic material. This can effectively halt the decay process and save your natural tooth, therefore avoiding an extraction. Your root canal procedure will be finished with a crown or filling to further protect your tooth.
Unfortunately, there are times when the decay is extensive, so an extraction (or several extractions) are your dentist’s only option for your treatment. With proper care and regular checkups of your teeth, you may never need extractions for tooth decay. If you have poor oral hygiene habits and have been putting off the dentist, however, you may need extractions to treat your tooth decay.
Our diet plays a huge role in our oral health, and you can help your tooth decay to heal naturally by ensuring that you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, all of which play vital roles in keeping our smiles healthy. Healthy fats and omega-3s can help to prevent decay and heal existing decay. Remember, processed foods and sugar are terribly for your teeth, and are the main contributors to tooth decay.
Treating tooth decay doesn’t have to painful. You can prevent tooth decay by eating healthy, getting regular checkups, and of course, brushing and flossing. For those times when you have a cavity or are concerned about tooth decay, visit your dentist for treatment!