A dental filling plays a critical role in protecting the teeth and preventing further damage. But it also helps to understand how a dental filling prevents tooth decay. When teeth are damaged by decay, dental fillings help to restore them to their normal function. They can also prevent further decay. There are different types of filling material, and your dentist will consider several factors when choosing the right option.
Dental filling and tooth decay
Tooth decay starts when sticky bacterial plaque forms on the teeth and creates acids from the sugars consumed in food. These acids wear down the hard enamel covering the teeth, causing it to continue to lose minerals. At the early stages of decay, a white spot may appear where minerals have been lost. Left unaddressed, decay will work its way to the dentin, and that is when the tooth will become sensitive and the cavity will need a filling. Since decay spreads faster through the dentin than it does the enamel, an infection can be stopped by catching it before it reaches the pulp of one’s teeth.
Tooth decay is a very common health problem that affects many individuals. If it is not treated, it can lead to infection, severe toothache, and tooth loss. Fortunately, a good brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits can prevent tooth decay. The first line of defense against tooth decay is to exercise good oral hygiene. But once a cavity has formed, a dentist has to repair the damage with a filling.
Filling up holes left by tooth decay
When part of one’s tooth is destroyed by tooth decay, the resulting cavity is often sensitive. It could become a site of continuous infection and compromise the tooth’s structural integrity or expose inner nerves. Even if a dentist removes the decay from inside the cavity, the hole left behind would present a host of problems for the tooth. By filling the hole, therefore, the damaged tooth is restored to full functionality. Further tooth decay can be stopped at this point.
Strengthening the teeth
Fillings lower the chances of infections by preventing plaque or bacteria from building up inside cavities. They also strengthen the tooth to prevent it from breaking inward due to trauma, cracking, or chipping. Without a dental filling, even small cavities could seriously undermine the health and function of one’s teeth. Everyone should make an effort to avoid cavities, but fillings mean there is still hope even after getting a cavity. The decay process can be stopped and tooth function regained.
Tooth decay can be quite tricky. If a small area of erosion is detected before it reaches the dentin, the dental provider might recommend repairing the spot with toothpaste, a mouth rinse, or a filling material that contains fluoride. However, by the time you are feeling the pain from tooth decay, it is already too late to reverse the process or take preventive action. Dental fillings exist to stop things from getting out of hand. And that is how a dental filling prevents tooth decay.
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