Almost everyone you know has at least one filling. That’s because it’s difficult to stop tooth decay completely.

Between our diet as Americans and the tenacity of the bacteria behind it, don’t be surprised if you get a cavity.

Despite how common this dental problem can be, there are still some important things people do not know about tooth decay. For example, many people think sugar causes cavities even though it doesn’t. (It makes them more likely, but it doesn’t cause it.)

That’s why you need to call our Birmingham, MI dental office today at 248-972-8720. By making an appointment for a dental cleaning and dental exam, you can get some help in the fight against cavities.

Where Cavities Come From

Why do you get cavities if it’s not from sugar? It’s from bacteria.

Every mouth has some harmful bacteria living in it. This is unavoidable. They feed on tiny particles of food that gets trapped in your mouth after you eat. They repay you by producing an acid. When the bacteria live on your enamel, that acid burns holes in your teeth called cavities.

Although they can eat just about anything you can, they multiply fast when they get food packed with calories. (After all, calories is just a measure of energy.) If you eat lots of sugar, then so do those bacteria. This helps them thrive and grow, increasing your problems with both cavities and gum disease.

That’s also why you’re supposed to keep your teeth clean. Doing that helps deprive those harmful bacteria of the food they need to keep multiplying.

Cavity And Dental Filling Facts

When it comes to dentistry, what you know can be as important as what you do. Here are some facts about cavities and fillings that everyone really needs to know.

If a cavity gets too big, a dental filling won’t work anymore.

Cavities are literal holes in your enamel. Over time, these holes get bigger and bigger. It’s a slow process, but it can result in a large cavity. At this point, a dental filling won’t work. Fillings need healthy enamel to bond with. When a cavity is too big, those fillings won’t be able to stay put. They’ll keep falling out.

At this point, Dr. Newingham can use a dental crown instead. This will seal up the tooth and make it strong again, but it’s still not as good as only having a small cavity.

If a cavity gets too deep, you’ll need a root canal to save the tooth.

As the bacteria continue to thrive, they keep producing that acid. This can lead to a cavity deep enough to break through the enamel and reach the dental pulp. This is where all the nerves and blood vessels for a tooth can be found. The bacteria quickly infect the pulp.

If you don’t get a root canal at this point, you’ll continue to have a powerful toothache until the tooth grows brittle and cracks apart. That’s one reason why dental exams from Dr. Newingham are so important — they can spot the cavity before it gets too deep.

You can get fillings that blend in with your teeth.

You do not have to get metal amalgam fillings anymore. While they work, they stick out badly in your otherwise white smile. But at our Birmingham, MI dental office, you can get composite resin fillings instead. Not only are these free of any mercury, they blend in nicely with your teeth. Plus, these tooth-colored fillings still do that job of repairing damage caused by a cavity.

Cavities keep growing until treated — or until you need that tooth removed.

This might be the biggest fact you need to know. Because your enamel doesn’t feel anything, you can have cavities without knowing it. Many times, only digital X-rays or a trained eye like Dr. Newingham has can find them. Until they are treated, cavities continue to grow. It can get bad enough that you might need a dental extraction — there’s just not enough tooth left to save.

Call us TODAY at 248-972-8720 or use our convenient online form to schedule your next appointment. A dental cleaning will help control those bacteria, while a dental exam from Dr. Newingham can find any hidden cavities lurking in your teeth. Then thanks to his advanced training, you can get that cavity repaired so your smile is intact.