Tag Archives: Cavities Need Fillings

How Can I Avoid Fillings?

No one wants to feel that sharp pain tearing through your mouth when you take a swig of ice water, so what can you do to avoid fillings for cavities? According to the CDC, over 91% of adults have cavities, so it’s a problem most of us would do well to prevent—or at least prepare for in the short term. While some people assign the blame to their genetics or our increasingly sugar-filled diets, they can take steps to prevent cavities and avoid painful and expensive fillings.

7 Ways to Avoid Fillings

Through careful planning and awareness, you can improve your dental hygiene and reduce your risk of cavities. Try implementing the following seven techniques for avoiding fillings.

  1. Assess Your Dental Predisposition.

Unfortunately, your genetics do play a role in your dental health. Some individuals are predisposed to decay because of plaque buildup, soft teeth, and other factors. The best way to determine your predisposition for cavities is to survey family members to get a comprehensive exam from a trusted dentist.

  1. Brush Right.

Most people brush their teeth regularly, but maybe not as carefully as they should. Meticulous brushing helps to eliminate plaque buildup in hard-to-see and hard-to-reach areas that are at risk for decay. Brushing at least twice a day for 2-3 minutes, reaching every side of each tooth can prevent fillings.

  1. Drink Better.

Ditch your sugary sodas, coffees, wine, and other beverages that introduce buildup on your teeth. If you can’t quite kick your habit, try switching to a straw, which can help bypass your teeth. Rinse your mouth with water after drinking a sugary beverage, and try to increase your intake of fluoride-enriched water.

  1. Floss Daily.

Flossing is a habit that is easier than you think. It can seem like a time-consuming hassle, but it has enormous benefits for your teeth by decreasing plaque and decay and lowering your risk for bad breath. Try flossing picks or a new kind of dental floss, and build up the habit to prevent cavities.

  1. Quit Smoking.

You already know that smoking is bad for your lungs and puts you at considerable risk for cancers, but many people overlook the oral risks associated with smoking. Smoking can cause rapid decay, gum disease, deterioration, and tooth loss. Protect your mouth by quitting your nicotine habit right away.

  1. Add Mouthwash.

A fluoride-enriched mouthwash can not only freshen your breath, but it can also strengthen your teeth against plaque and cavities. A quick swish of mouthwash once a day has been proven to decrease tooth decay and help avoid filings in the future.

  1. See Your Dentist.

The best way to combat tooth decay and prevent fillings is actually to see your dentist more regularly. Dentists can catch bad brushing habits or genetic predisposition to cavities and help you take action to avoid fillings. Set regular appointments for cleanings and exams, and take your dentist’s advice for your hygiene.

The Perfect Smile

At Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, we believe in creating your perfect smile. If you need help with tooth decay, oral surgery, or any other dental or facial issues, we are ready to make you smile.

Do All Cavities Need Fillings?

If your dentist detects cavities, they will offer to fill them in, even if they’re small. A dental filling is crucial to protect your mouth from further decay. If left untreated, your tooth will grow worse as the cavity deepens. 

Learn more about cavities and how they can negatively impact your dental health.

Cavities Explained

A cavity is a hole in the tooth, often the final result of tooth decay. These holes grow when dental plaque (food particles, bacteria, and minerals) grows on the tooth’s surface due to inadequate hygiene. The bacteria transform the sugar in food particles to acid, eating away at the tooth’s enamel. Minor, surface cavities can eventually extend into the deeper layers of your tooth. 

Discover why you must get your cavities filled in as soon as possible.

Can I Detect Cavities On My Own?

Cavities appear as a pale or dark spot then gradually decay into a yellow or brown color. Inspect your mouth with a mirror once a month to detect any tooth discoloration early on. Unfortunately, if you’re growing cavities between two teeth or the back of a tooth, you may not be able to detect them. 

We recommend you visit your dentist every six months for regular checkups. They can spot cavities in their early stages before they deteriorate your oral health. Your dentist will perform an oral radiograph to detect them. 

Early tooth decay is innocuous, so without a regular checkup, you won’t be able to tell you have a cavity until it begins to chip away at your tooth. Once a cavity reaches your tooth’s root, your teeth will become sensitive to heat, cold, and pressure. Furthermore, you will be at risk for developing a dental abscess; this will make it difficult to open your mouth.

The Varying Degrees of Cavity Treatment

The sooner you consult with your dentist, the higher the chance they can stop your tooth decay in its tracks before it becomes painful. If you receive treatment early, you might only need to undergo a simple fluoride treatment to restore your tooth’s enamel. 

However, if you’re experiencing sharp pain and sensitivity, you might need extensive treatment. Your dentist may recommend the following depending on the severity of your decay:

Mild cavities: Dentists and oral surgeons treat these cavities with fillings, also known as restorations. They will drill away the damaged tooth and fill in the defect with restorative materials that vary in strength and cost. 

Large cavities: You may require a crown. Your dentist or oral surgeon will drill into your natural crown and replace it with a covering.

Pulp cavities (severe damage): You may need to undergo a root canal. Your oral surgeon will remove the diseased pulp before inserting a filling. If the damage is too severe, you might need to undergo tooth extraction surgery. After this procedure, your oral surgeon will insert a dental implant into the gap. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Is Here for You

Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day to prevent cavities. If your dentist believes you need oral surgery, you can contact the board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah. We specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, bone grafting, corrective jaw surgery, and more. 

We’re still operating during this COVID-19 outbreak, and we’re taking extra measures to ensure our patients stay safe. Please reach out to us with any questions you may have.

Do All Cavities Need Fillings_