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All Posts in Category: Conditions

What Are Cavities?

A cavity is a decaying portion of a tooth. It commonly occurs when acids damage the outer enamel that protects your teeth from corrosion. Cavities form when there is no more protective enamel to guard the inner-layers of your tooth.

A cavity forms in the dentin layer, and it may leave a visible opening in the tooth. This small opening can enlarge overtime. Particles of food can become lodged inside the cavity. If you have a cavity, you may even experience intense pain depending upon the severity of the damage. Based on the severity of the pain, contacting 3V Dental Associates, your local Port Washington, NY dental team, should be your first step.

Signs and Symptoms

dental cavity

There are three main symptoms that your dentist may associate with a possible cavity diagnosis. These aren’t the only symptoms of tooth decay, but they are good reasons for you to contact our dental team for treatment as soon as possible.

  • Toothaches: Toothaches are typically a throbbing pain within your tooth that is not a result of an injury. It may also be accompanied by a swelling of the gums around the tooth.
  • Increased Sensitivity: Cavities often cause your teeth to become more sensitive to otherwise normal conditions. It could include sensitivities to temperature. You may also experience discomfort when eating sugary foods.
  • Pain When Chewing: If you experience any pain when chewing foods, then you should schedule an examination with your dentist right away. It is one of the major red-flags of an existing cavity.

What Causes Cavities?

The main underlying cause of dental cavities is the bacteria that naturally forms around teeth. It’s also known as plaque. This bacteria creates acids from breaking the foods we eat. These acids are also formed when drinking sugary drinks.

The acid created by plaque can remove vital minerals from enamel. It weakens the enamel overtime causing a cavity to form. When acids breach through your enamels, then they can continue to decay the underlying dentin in your tooth.

A cavity can eventually make it’s way to nerve endings. That is the point when most people first notice that they have a very serious dental problem. Not all cavities are visible to the naked eye. Your dentist will perform a physical examination of your tooth, and a dental x-ray of the dentin will reveal any issues that can’t be diagnosed through examination.

If your tooth isn’t treated, then the decay will continue to cause significant damages. There is a risk of infection associated with tooth decay when it reaches the nerve endings. An abscess may form within your gums.

Infections are much harder to treat, and they may require dental surgery. It is important to treat a cavity as a means of prevention from more serious complications that can occur.

How Can You Prevent Cavities?

According to the American Dental Association, the best prevention method for cavities is good oral hygiene. You should brush your teeth at least twice daily to prevent excessive bacteria build up. Brushing helps remove plaque from the surface of your teeth, and it helps reduce the amount of bacteria below your gum line.

Flossing is very important for cavity prevention as well. Brushing alone may not remove hard to reach plaque in between your teeth. You should also schedule regular checkups with your dentist routinely throughout the year.

Always use fluoride toothpastes when brushing your teeth. Fluoride is an antiseptic agent that kills most bacteria in your mouth on contact. Your child’s pediatrician can also prescribe fluoride supplements to reduce the risks of your children developing a cavity.

Your diet plays a big role in oral hygiene. Foods that are rich in starches may increase your chances of enamel loss. Try to avoid eating sugary snacks between meals to cut back on the amount of exposure to acids.

Having a dry mouth as a result of other complications will significantly increase your risks of tooth decay. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day.

Treating Cavities

If your dentist is able to place a diagnosis within the early stages, then fluoride treatment may be able to reverse the decaying process. This is only possible under certain circumstances, but your dentist will be able to judge when further action treatment is needed.

The next step in treatment is a dental filling. The damaged section of your tooth will be filled to prevent plaque buildup inside your tooth. You may need a full crown cap in order to save the underlying tooth, but it depends on how far the decay has spread.

Tooth extraction may be recommended in the most severe cases. If infection has spread to the nerve endings inside your gums, then a root canal procedure may be necessary. Root canals are typically more costly than other options. That’s why it is very important to diagnose tooth decay early on. Make oral hygiene your priority to keep a healthy smile for years to come.

Think you may have a cavity or interested in preventative care? Contact the friendly dental staff at 3V Dental Associates today to schedule your next office visit.

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what does it mean if my tongue is color

How to Prevent and Treat Bad Breath

Oral hygiene is extremely important at any age regardless of your diet preference and your genetics. Avoiding bad breath and knowing how to implement the right remedies for your bad breath is essential to prevent making a negative impression on those in your life. With the right treatment options, and continued dentist visits, minimize your bad breath while getting to the root cause of the odor for future reference.

According to Colgate.com:

Most bad breath starts in your mouth, and there are many possible causes that include: certain foods you eat (garlic and onions, in particular), alcohol or cigarettes, poor oral hygiene, gum disease, diabetes, dry mouth, sinus or throat infections, lung infections, kidney/liver failure and gastrointestinal issues.

Brush and Floss Twice a Day to Avoid Bad Breath

brush your teeth to avoid bad breath

 

Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day is essential to maintain proper oral health. Brush each morning and evening to minimize germs and bacteria from leading to cavities and other dental issues such as gum disease. Flossing is imperative to prevent the buildup of bacteria, old food, and germs from forming. After a large meal, it is also advisable to brush and floss to avoid dental issues from arising.

The Right Mouthwash May Help Prevent Bad Breath

mouthwash to prevent bad breath

Use mouthwash on a daily basis to help eliminate germs and bacteria, especially before going to bed each night and upon waking up in the morning. Use mouthwash after brushing and flossing for an added layer of protection while maintaining fresh and appealing breath. Avoid solely using mouthwash during your oral hygiene routine as it does not allow the opportunity to remove excess plaque and buildup from the mouth.

Hydration is Key to Preventing and Minimizing Bad Breath

hydration to avoid and treat bad breath

Drinking enough water is one of the most essential elements of fresh breath. When the mouth becomes dry or there is not enough fluid in the mouth, bacteria begins to form and fester. It is also important to keep any chronic illnesses, diseases, or medications you have in mind when working towards a better oral hygiene regimen. Some medications and illnesses have the ability to trigger dry mouth or dehydration, which is why it is essential to stay hydrated by drinking water throughout all hours of the day for optimal health.

Keep to Your Yearly (at the least!) Scheduled Dental Appointments

Port Washington Dentist

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One of the best ways to treat bad breath while preventing additional oral hygiene issues is to visit your local Port Washington dentist regularly. Schedule a regular checkup and cleaning at least once every six months. Speak to your dentist directly if you believe you are suffering from halitosis or another gum-related disease such as periodontal gum disease. Your dentist has the ability to diagnose and properly treat oral issues while eliminating the guesswork involved in treating yourself without professional guidance. A deep cleaning may be necessary to eliminate excess buildup from your gums and teeth, especially if you have not visited the dentist regularly or if you have anxiety related to oral hygiene and dentist offices. Share your concerns openly and honestly with your dentist to determine the best course of action for your teeth and gums based on your mouth’s current health and diagnosis.

Use a Tongue Cleaner to Prevent Bad Breath and Keep Your Tongue Germ Free

tongue cleaner

Invest in a tongue cleaner to minimize your bad breath while keeping your mouth as clean as possible. In many cases, bad breath originates from the tongue as bacteria and plaque build up throughout the course of a day. Have you checked your tongue color lately? It may tell you a lot!

While some toothbrushes are designed to work on the tongue as well as the teeth, investing in a tongue cleaner or scraper that is specifically designed to eliminate tongue buildup is highly advisable, especially if you are suffering from halitosis or another chronic oral condition. Use your tongue cleaner each morning after brushing and flossing and before bed to keep your tongue from triggering unwanted bad breath.

Choose the Ideal Diet to Help Improve Your Breath

diet and bad breath

Diet plays a major role in overall oral hygiene and health. Choose a diet that is low in starchy and sugary foods, especially if you are unable to maintain a structured oral hygiene regimen each morning and night. Eliminate sugary drinks such as soda and juices along with snacks that are processed and packed with sugar and carbohydrates. Introduce a more whole and healthy diet plan into your everyday eating habits. Some foods that are optimal for dental health and to prevent unappealing breath from accumulating include:

Water
Greens (Salad, Kale)
Vegetables (Cauliflower, Broccoli, Asparagus, Green Beans, Carrots, Brussel Sprouts, etc.)
Meats (Without glazes or sweeteners)
Nuts and Seeds (Almonds, Pepitas, Walnuts, Cashews, Peanuts, Macadamia Nuts)

While having unappealing breath is common among most people at some point in their lives, chronic bad breath, halitosis, or other gum-related diseases are never enjoyable to take on and handle. With the right remedies, help cure the bad breath you experience each day while you kill potential germs and odors that have the potential to lead to serious dental problems and diseases. Once you understand how to avoid and treat the bad breath you experience each day it is much easier to choose a mouth wash and dental routine that is best for you and the life you lead.

Want more helpful tips on how to prevent and minimize bad breath? Check out this helpful article from the American Dental Association.

For more information on how you can prevent and minimize bad breath, contact our office today to schedule an appointment with our amazing dental team!

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prevent tooth decay

5 Tips to Prevent Tooth Decay

There are different types of dental fillings available at 3V Dental, including metallic and color-matching composite materials. Today, it is easy for our dentists to fill a small cavity in only a few minutes to prevent additional decay. However, it is better to prevent tooth decay in the first place. Here are five oral care tips that will improve the condition of the enamel on your teeth to help prevent any cavities that will require fillings.

Here Is How To Strengthen Your Teeth To Prevent Decay

Tip 1: Consume More Fruits and Vegetables

Your daily diet affects the condition of your teeth, but you can add an assortment of fruits and vegetables to your menus. Look for fresh dark leaf greens, bright red tomatoes and tasty bell peppers to create a salad for lunch instead of eating a hamburger. When you want a tasty snack, eat an apple rather than consuming potato chips or ice cream.

Tip 2: Perform Oral Care At Least Twice a Day

It is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste. In addition, flossing once a day is also essential to remove additional food debris that leads to a buildup of plaque on your teeth. Buy a new toothbrush every three months, and choose dental floss that is easy for you to use.

Tip 3: Stop Smoking Cigarettes

If you smoke cigarettes, then you are more likely to have tooth decay, gingivitis or halitosis. The nicotine and other chemicals in tobacco will inflame the soft tissues inside your mouth, causing you to have numerous dangerous bacteria on your gums, palate or tongue that will cause tooth decay.

Tip 4: Take Vitamins To Improve Your Teeth

In addition to a healthy diet, you can take dietary supplements to improve the condition of your teeth. Taking vitamins and minerals is especially important when you have allergies that make it impossible to consume certain foods or beverages.

Tip 5: Schedule Routine Dental Visits Twice a Year

You should visit your dentist every six months to have a thorough cleaning and examination of your teeth. If you have a cavity, then your dentist can fill it with a color-matching filling when it is toward the front of your mouth. Alternatively, if you have a cavity in a tooth at the back of your mouth, then your dentist will use a durable metal filling instead.

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