Hole in a Tooth
The first line of defense against cavities is a daily oral hygiene practice and twice-a-year cleanings and checkups at Dental Associates of Morris County. If you get a cavity that begins with a tiny hole in a tooth, get treatment quickly to prevent further complications, ranging from a root canal to getting the tooth pulled. Start your kids on cavity prevention early. Bring them to your Madison, NJ family dentist who also practices pediatric dentistry.
A hole in a tooth is the first signal that a cavity is forming. And you can get cavities even though you brush and floss religiously. Your home care can’t remove all the tartar and plaque from your teeth. That’s why it’s vital to get bi-annual professional cleanings at your family dentist’s. Only a dental professional has the tools and techniques necessary to remove bacteria that lingers in hard-to-reach places on your teeth and gums.
You may not even notice a tiny hole in a tooth, as it usually develops between teeth. It may go unnoticed until you start feeling intense nerve pain. Your dentist at Dental Associates of Morris County can catch a tiny hole in a tooth before it gets bigger and treat it appropriately to prevent further deterioration.
What Causes a Hole in a Tooth?
A tiny hole in a tooth often starts when tooth decay goes untreated. Food particles attract bacteria, which produce acid that wears away the top layer of enamel. A hole in a tooth can occur from other sources too, such as:
- Losing a previous filling
- Cracking or breaking teeth
- Grinding your teeth, a condition called bruxism
- Developing conditions like bulimia or anorexia
No matter how it starts, a tiny hole in a tooth can quickly grow. Tooth pain becomes more severe the longer you let it go. The plaque on your teeth leaves a film that turns to acid. The substance then eats through enamel, which is the top protective layer on teeth. When the enamel wears down, the bacteria then goes on full attack through all the layers of your teeth and eventually creates a larger hole in a tooth that causes more throbbing pain.
Lifestyle habits also contribute to cavities in your original teeth. You can reduce the risk of getting a hole in a tooth by:
- Brushing after eating sticky foods like taffy and dried fruit
- Staying away from drinks with a high sugar content
- Not giving babies a bottle in bed
- Flossing and brushing properly
- Treating heartburn and acid reflux
- Keeping your mouth moist
- Replacing worn-down fillings
- Wearing dentures and other dental devices that fit correctly
- Seeking treatment for eating disorders
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption
- Refraining from using dangerous drugs like methamphetamines
Taking Care of Your Kids
Tooth decay can start before your children get their permanent teeth. Since your family dentist also practices pediatric dentistry, he’s prepared to treat kids in a way that ensures their comfort and reduces anxiety. And they can go to the same place you go. Start kids with professional dental care shortly after their first baby teeth erupt.
Talk to your dentist about treating kids’ teeth with sealants to prevent decay. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: “Sealants are thin, plastic coatings painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, or molars. The chewing surfaces of back teeth … have small pits and grooves. Food and bacteria can get stuck … there a long time because toothbrush bristles can’t easily brush them away. Sealants cover these surfaces and form a barrier that protects teeth and prevents food and bacteria from getting trapped there. Since most cavities in children and adolescents develop in the molars, it’s best to get these teeth sealed as soon as they come in.”
Finding the Right Cavity Treatment
Treatment for cavities in a tiny hole in a tooth or a larger space typically can be filled after your dentist removes all the decay. That’s what he’s doing when you hear the sound of the drill. But it depends on how much decay is present and how big of a hole you ended up with, as to what kind of treatment is appropriate.
X-rays help determine the exact condition of the tooth. If the decay is too extensive and too much of the tooth has been destroyed, the only way to save the root structure may be through a root canal. The procedure involves taking out any residual decay and the entire nerve. You won’t feel any pain afterward and the canal gets filled with a resin to support the structure. What remains of the tooth is then topped off with a protective crown.
Whether you need a filling or a crown, your dentist takes into consideration your appearance because he is thoroughly trained in cosmetic dentistry, too. And you can rest assured that he will help you find affordable solutions to preserve your dental health and make sure you look good in the process.