What is Tooth Decay or “Cavity”?
Tooth decay or cavity is an infectious disease that destroys the structure of teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to pain and infection and in severe cases, it ends in tooth loss.
What causes tooth decay?
Bacteria in the mouth feeding on sugar from diet produce acids that destroy tooth structure creating a “hole” in the tooth, otherwise known as cavity
Can tooth decay spread from one tooth to another?
Yes! Decay which starts on the sides of teeth can spread to the adjacent tooth if left untreated
What is the treatment for tooth decay?
Initial tooth decay can be treated by simply filling the cavity with tooth color materials. If the decay is extensive causing tooth pain or gum swelling, a root canal treatment is recommended
What are the filling materials that are used?
The most commonly used dental filling materials are Silver Amalgam and Composite (tooth color) materials.
Are Silver Fillings Safe?
Silver Amalgam fillings contain about 50% mercury and 50% various other metals. While there have been no conclusive studies to relate mercury in the amalgam to any danger, mercury by itself is very toxic. However, with the advent of newer filling materials, amalgam is not used as often as it once was. More than 70% of the fillings are done with resin or composite materials currently.
How can we prevent Tooth Decay?
The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Eating healthy foods, avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar, use of dental sealants and visiting the dentist twice a year will also help in preventing tooth decay.