A cavity is an area of a tooth that has developed into a hole or opening. They are caused by a combination of factors, such as bacteria, drinking sugary drinks, snacking, and not keeping your teeth clean.
Cavities and tooth decay are especially common in children, teenagers, and older adults. It doesn’t matter if you’re 8 or 80: if you have teeth, you can get a cavity! When cavities are left untreated, they can get larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth, which leads to toothache, infection, and even tooth loss. The key to preventing cavities is to routinely see your dentist and properly clean your teeth every day.
Do I Have a Cavity?
You may not notice any symptoms in the early stages of a cavity. When the cavity gets larger, it can cause:
- Visible holes in your teeth
- Brown, black, or white staining
- Pain when you bite or chew
- General toothache
- Sharp pain when eating something sweet, cold, or hot
You may have a cavity and not know it. That’s why it’s important to regularly see your dentist. Dr. Oji and her staff are specially trained to recognize the signs of cavities and treat them accordingly. You can visit our dental cleaning page to learn more about professional cleanings.
Cavity Treatment & Fillings
When you have a cavity, your dentist may treat it with fluoride, fillings, crowns, or a root canal; a tooth may even be extracted if it is beyond the point of saving. Many cavities are treated with fillings to prevent the infection from spreading and to maintain the tooth’s strength and function. Amalgam, a mix of metals, has been used in fillings for over a century. However, it contains mercury, which can increase the toxicity of the filling.
We are an amalgam-free practice and only use composite resin or tooth-colored fillings to treat cavities. Amalgam is strong and long-lasting but can increase the patient’s risk of mercury toxicity and increase sensitivity to hot or cold foods.
Benefits of an amalgam-free filling:
- Ability to closely match the color of your teeth
- Protect from tooth decay
- Restore a tooth’s strength
- Can last for up to 20 years
To learn more about the benefits of using amalgam-free dental fillings, call our Fresno, CA, office and speak to a member of our friendly staff. We are happy to answer any questions and help you schedule your first appointment with Dr. Oji.
Can I Prevent Cavities?
Yes! You can prevent cavities by properly brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day and maintaining routine check-ups with your dentist. Visit our at-home care page to learn about how to properly care for your teeth.
Cavities in Fresno, CA
The best way to avoid cavities is to keep your teeth clean. If you suspect a cavity or need treatment for one, please contact our Fresno, CA, office to schedule an appointment. We look forward to caring for you and your smile.