Tooth Cavity Fillings In Hamilton And Stoney Creek
Our teeth need proper care to stay healthy and strong. Diet plays an important role to keep our teeth healthy and strong. When we eat or drinks foods that contain sugar, germs in our mouth use the sugar to make acids. Over time, these acids can cause tooth decay or cavities. Although cavities are common, they are both fixable and preventable. If you have cavities or feeling tooth ache, please call us at 905-561-7310 so that our dentists at Dentistry on Queenston in Hamilton and Stoney Creek can help you.
Dental Cavity (Dental Caries)
"Cavity" is the word no one wants to hear at the dentist's office. A cavity develops when a tooth decays, or breaks down. A dental cavity is a hole that grow bigger and deeper over time. Teeth are covered in a hard coating called enamel. A think film of plaque (bacteria) builds up on your teeth. These bacteria produce acids that can harm enamel and cause cavities. Cavities are also called dental caries. If left untreated, the acids can continue to make their way through the enamel into the tooth where nerve endings are. Ouch! Although preventable, dental caries or tooth decay remains the most prevalent chronic disease in both children and adults.
If you have a dental cavity, it is important to get it repaired by a dentist. Your dentist will carefully examine your teeth and take X-rays of the teeth with problem. If your dentist discovers a cavity, she can repair it for you by first removing the rotted part (bugs) of your tooth and then filling the hole with a special material. The result is called a filling. Depending upon the materials used for the dental fillings, they are broadly divided into 2 categories:
Dental Amalgam Fillings (Silver Fillings)
Dental Composite Fillings (White Fillings or Tooth-Coloured Fillings)
Dental amalgam is a dental filling material that has been in use for over 150 years. Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury and an alloy made up of silver, tin and copper. Dental amalgam fillings are strong and long-lasting and are less likely to break than some other types of fillings. Dental amalgam is the least expensive type of filling material.
Composite resin fillings are the most common alternative to dental amalgam. Composite resin filling material is made of a type of plastic reinforced with powdered glass filler. The colour or shade of composite resin can be customized to closely match surrounding teeth. Composite dental fillings enjoy the advantages of blending in with surrounding teeth, high strength and minimal removal of healthy tooth structure for placement. However, composite dental fillings are more difficult to place, have higher cost of placement and in some cases may be less durable (need to be replaced more frequently).
There are other dental fillings alternatives such as glass ionomer, resin ionomer, porcelain or gold. Deciding what dental filling material to use to treat dental decay is a choice that you and your dentist need to make. At Dentistry on Queenston, we have discontinued offering amalgam fillings and offer composite resin fillings only because they yield strong, aesthetic and beautiful teeth. We aim to restore your teeth such that they truly mimic natural tooth structure.
Cavities And Tooth Decay Prevention
Generally speaking, to prevent cavities:
Brush every exposed tooth surface at least twice a day for 2-3 minutes with fluoride toothpaste
Use a soft-bristle toothbrush in a gentle (not too hard) massaging motion
Change your toothbrush every three months, never share your toothbrush or use someone else's toothbrush
Watch the sugar you eat - there's sugar in fruits, candy, crackers and cakes
Be mindful of the foods that stick to your teeth such as peanut butter and raisins
Brush your teeth after a meal. If you cannot do that, rinse your mouth with water
Visit your dentist regularly
Talk to your dentist about dental sealants which are another good way to help avoid a dental cavity
Brushing and flossing your teeth can prevent tooth decay, but once a cavity forms, a dentist has to fix it. The most common ways to treat cavities and more serious tooth decay problems are:
Filling the cavity
Performing root canal therapy
Crowning a tooth
If you have a dry mouth because of a condition you have or medicines you take, you are at a higher risk for tooth decay and might need more fluoride. Depending upon your situation, there may be other recommendations. Talk to your dentist in Hamilton and Stoney Creek at Dentistry on Queenston about preventing cavities.
Toothaches are primarily caused by tooth decay, which may initially result in pain when eating sweet, or cold or hot food. Tooth decay can irritate the tooth's pulp, stimulating the nerves and resulting in pain. Other causes of toothache include infection, bleeding gums, tooth trauma, grinding teeth, abnormal bite, gum disease, and the emergence of new teeth. Sinus problems, ear infections, temporomandibular joint disorders, and tension in the facial muscles could also cause toothaches, generally accompanied by headaches.
What Can I Do About Toothache?
Toothache symptoms can only be diagnosed after a complete evaluation by your dentist. Your dentist will determine the location and cause of the toothache with an oral examination. She will look for redness, swelling and other visible indications for cause. An X-ray exam will help the dentist confirm an impacted tooth, decay, bone disorder, or other problems and prescribe a treatment such as prescription of antibiotics and pain relievers, extraction of tooth or root canal therapy. If you are unable to consult a dentist right away, the following self-care procedure may provide temporary relief:
Use warm water to rinse your mouth
Floss gently to remove food particles that are stuck in your teeth
Take over-the-counter pain relief medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
Apply an over-the-counter antiseptic with benzocaine to the tooth or gums for tooth pain relief
Apply cold compresses to the cheek to reduce pain and swelling
DO NOT apply aspirin directly to the affected tooth because this may burn the gum tissue
If you experience a sharp, temporary pain on consuming hot fluids (such as tea, coffee) or ice cream, when breathing through the mouth, or when brushing or flossing, you may have "sensitive teeth". Such tooth sensitivity can be caused by tooth decay, cracks in teeth, worn teeth enamel, exposed tooth roots, receding gums, periodontal disease (gum disease), or overly aggressive brushing.
What Can I Do About Sensitive Teeth?
Over-the-counter toothpaste for sensitive teeth, which contains strontium chloride or potassium nitrate is effective in treating sensitive teeth. After a few weeks of use, you may notice a decrease in sensitivity. If you do not get relief by brushing gently using the toothpaste for sensitive teeth, please see your dentist in Hamilton at Dentistry on Queenston. Your dentist may apply special compounds to the roots of your teeth to minimize the sensitivity and make recommendations to help reduce sensitivity.
Follow oral hygiene procedures to prevent teeth sensitivity. Do not use extremely abrasive toothpaste and avoid aggressive and excessive brushing and flossing. If you grind your teeth, you may require a mouth guard. Also, limit the intake of acidic foods and drinks.
When a tooth is cracked, chewing irritates the pulp and this causes pain. The pulp may become damaged to the extent that it does not heal completely. Cracked teeth often cause erratic pain when chewing, when releasing pressure after biting, or when teeth are exposed to extremes in temperature. Tooth cracks come in many forms - craze lines, chipped teeth, fractured cusp, vertical crack, split tooth, vertical root fracture etc. The treatment for cracked teeth depends upon the location and type of damage that had occurred. See your dentist immediately. With proper treatment, cracked teeth can often be repaired to restore normal function.
If you have cavities or are experiencing tooth ache, please call our dental office in Hamilton at (905) 561-7310 or just walk in during the hours listed at the bottom of this page. Our dentist will be glad to relieve your pain, and help you in a timely manner.