Understanding Tooth Decay and the Need for Dental Fillings

Understanding Tooth Decay and the Need for Dental Fillings from Dragonfly Dental of Port Charlotte in Port Charlotte, FLMost everyone is familiar with the fact that dentists use dental fillings to treat cavities. What not everyone is aware of, however, is why dentists need to treat cavities with fillings or why teeth decay the way they do in the first place. We all want to keep our teeth healthy, and fillings have been used for decades to do just that.

Today, we will take a closer look at the reason for tooth decay and the need to insert fillings into teeth once a cavity has formed.

What is a cavity?

When you look at the word cavity, it is a word we use often, especially when talking about teeth. Research shows that the average adult will have 3 to 4 cavities in their lifetime, so it is obvious that cavities are quite common. What is a cavity, exactly? Well, the term cavity literally means a hole or empty space inside a solid object, in this case, a tooth. That means when we get a cavity, we have developed a hole in a tooth that is supposed to be solid.

Now you can see how a hole inside a solid tooth might be a problem. What makes matters worse is that once a cavity has formed, it will keep growing unless it is treated. If a cavity is left alone for too long, it could grow to the size of the entire inside of a tooth, rendering the tooth hollow. At that point, the tooth would likely crumble under pressure, and the base of the tooth would have to be removed.

What is the point of a filling?

A dental filling is a material used to fill a cavity. The filling fills the hole and supports the structure of the tooth. Of course, the process is a bit more complex than that. Before a dentist inserts the filling material, they will first clean the inside of the cavity, remove all the decayed material and debris, set the filling material in place, and use cement to hold it there. This creates a tight seal and fills the hole so that it no longer expands and the tooth is protected.

Why do cavities happen?

Cavities happen due to bacteria that attack the enamel of a tooth. Most often, the bacteria forms due to residue from sugary snacks and beverages that is left on the teeth. The bacteria eats into the enamel of the tooth and eventually creates a hole or cavity. The cavity grows larger until it is noticeable by a dentist, and then a filling is used to treat it. So, as you can see, our teeth would literally rot and fall out of our mouths without fillings.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Google: Dental Fillings in Port Charlotte, FL


We hope now that you understand the relationship between cavities and dental fillings, you will not hesitate the next time the dentist tells you that you have a cavity that needs to be filled.

Request an appointment or call Dragonfly Dental of Port Charlotte at 941-676-9225 for an appointment in our Port Charlotte office.

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