The Facts You Need To Know About Cavities & Fillings

Embarrassed To Smile Solutions in Winnipeg, MB by Dr. Doug McDermid of Lakewood Dental Centre

Cavities are very common, and many people have at least one filling in their smile. Some have several. Although they’re that common, cavities are often misunderstood by people. For example, did you know that sugar is not what causes tooth decay?

Call our Winnipeg, MB dental office today at (204) 977-8515 to make your next appointment for a dental exam. You can have cavities without feeling a thing, which is why you need a thorough exam from a dentist. Our Winnipeg dentists can help with fillings or dental crowns to repair the damage.

Cavities Are Not Caused By Sugar

Why do you get a cavity? Tooth decay is caused by harmful bacteria that live in your mouth. (Don’t worry, everyone has some of these.) They survive by eating tiny food particles that get trapped on your teeth and gums.

These harmful bacteria also produce an acid. So when they live on the surface of your teeth, that acid burns small holes in the enamel that are called cavities or tooth decay. That’s why it’s so vital to brush and floss regularly. Cleaning your teeth like this will help get rid of the food particles feeding bacteria.

That’s also why people can believe cavities are caused by sugar. Because it’s packed with calories, sugar lets those bacteria thrive and multiply. That increases the acid produced, which leads to more cavities.

Cavity & Filling Facts

Knowledge can help you better protect yourself and your family, so here are some facts about cavities and fillings that everyone should know.

– Any food or drink can lead to more cavities

When it comes to letting those bacteria multiply and get out of control, the two biggest culprits are sugar and carbohydrates. That’s because both are packed with energy. It’s also why avoiding sugary foods can be healthy for your smile.

However, the harmful bacteria behind cavities can survive on just about anything you eat. Even an all-protein diet can lead to cavities if you do not clean your teeth regularly with brushing and flossing.

– Untreated cavities can grow so big that a filling won’t stay in

Since cavities are caused by bacteria, they tend to keep getting worse until you get a treatment like a dental filling. But in order for fillings to work, there has to be enough healthy enamel for that filling to bond with. When a cavity grows too big, a filling will likely fall out.

There is a solution. Our Winnipeg dentists can help in these cases with a dental crown. This is a cap that cover the entire visible part of your tooth. Placing a dental crown over a large cavity seals it up and prevents it from getting any bigger.

– There are no nerves in your enamel, so you cannot normally feel a cavity

Your tooth has nerves, but they’re only in the center of the tooth. The enamel covering it has no nerve endings. (That’s a good thing. If it did, chewing would actually hurt.) But one problem with this is how you don’t feel cavities growing in your enamel. You could have a few cavities growing right now and not know it.

That’s why getting a regular dental exam is so important. Digital X-rays and visual inspections can catch tooth decay when it’s smaller and easier to treat.

– A cavity that grows too deep could infect your tooth

Letting a cavity grow too big could mean a filling won’t work, but there’s another problem to worry about. If a cavity grows too deep, it can break through to the dental pulp. This is where the blood vessels and nerves for the tooth can be found. If a cavity reaches here, the bacteria causing the tooth decay can infect your dental pulp.

This normally gives you a bad toothache. Worse, it starts to turn your enamel brittle. You’ll need a root canal at this point to avoid having the tooth removed.

Call Lakewood Dental Centre today at (204) 977-8515 or use our online form to schedule your next dental exam. Because you normally cannot feel cavities in your teeth, you need regular exams to make sure there are none hiding in your teeth.

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