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How a General Dentist Treats Cavities Between Teeth
A general dentist can treat all sorts of cavities, including the ones that occur between teeth. The medical term for this type of decay is an interproximal cavity. It is the result of the erosion of the protective outer layer of teeth called the enamel. It is the strongest part of the body, but it is constantly being bombarded by acids made by oral bacteria and acids in the things the person consumes.
Oral bacteria stick to a person's teeth embedded inside plaque or tartar. These are deposits that form on a person's teeth when food particles and bacteria are not regularly removed. The bacteria in the plaque or tartar break down all the carbohydrates and sugars they come in contact with into acids that create holes on teeth surfaces.
How a general dentist diagnoses interproximal cavities
Interproximal cavities are harder to detect visually since they form in the tight spaces between a person's teeth. A bite-wing x-ray is typically used to make a good assessment. It makes it possible for the dentist to detect such cavities in their early stages.
If the patient's interproximal cavity has not made it more than halfway through the enamel of the affected tooth, a fluoride treatment can be used to remineralize it. If the cavity has already made it past the enamel, fillings become the standard treatment. Composite resin fillings are preferred for this task since they can be color-matched to the person's teeth.
Like a typical cavity, an interproximal one will find its way into the pulp chamber if it is not treated. When this occurs, a root canal can be performed to treat the tooth. If the tooth is left untreated, it will eventually become infected. If the infection makes its way to the tooth's roots, an extraction might be needed to prevent the infection from reaching vital organs, where it can be life-threatening.
Common symptoms and signs of cavities between teeth
Here are some signs that indicate a person might have an interproximal cavity:
- Sensitivity when the tooth comes in contact with hot or cold things
- Sensitivity caused by sugary foods and beverages
- Pain when chewing with the tooth
Preventing cavities between teeth
An effective way to keep cavities away from the spaces between teeth is by flossing daily and brushing twice each day. Flossing removes plaque from the tight areas the bristles of a toothbrush cannot reach. A fluoride-infused mouthwash provides an additional layer of protection against tooth decay. Fluoride treatments can be used to remineralize teeth that have lost some of their enamel.
Our general dentist is here to help
Good oral hygiene goes a long way when it comes to keeping any type of cavities at bay. Flossing is particularly important when it comes to interproximal decay since brushing does not do much to clean the spaces between teeth. By flossing daily, the areas between your teeth will be as clean as the rest of your mouth.
Any existing cavities can be treated with fluoride, fillings or a root canal. Stop by our clinic and explore your options with a dentist.
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