We all know that cavities are bad and that the purpose of homecare and dental visits is to prevent them. But what risk do they pose to our oral health? And what happens if a dental filling is not placed? Get the answers to these questions and more below as your Des Moines IA dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson, takes a closer look at the purpose of a dental filling.
Bacteria: The Troublemakers of the Mouth
When it comes down to it, most of the trouble that occurs within the mouth is caused by harmful bacteria. These bacteria can create gum disease, and they are also responsible for tooth decay and cavities. Bacteria create cavities in teeth because they give off an acid byproduct capable of stripping the enamel from teeth when they feed on sugar in the mouth. The bacteria are also able to adhere to teeth by forming a sticky, clear substance called plaque. When plaque attaches to teeth, the bacteria can do concentrated damage to teeth in a specific area, and if the plaque is not removed, a cavity can develop.
The Importance of Dental Fillings
When a cavity is discovered, a dental filling should be placed as quickly as possible. If a cavity is left untreated, the decay in the tooth can worsen, and eventually, the bacteria responsible for the cavity may gain access to the tooth’s pulp. When bacteria reach a tooth’s pulp, the tooth’s health can quickly go from bad to worse. The bacteria can infect the pulp, putting the entire tooth in peril of dying, and without root canal treatment, the entire tooth may eventually fall out. There is also the additional risk that the infection in the tooth could spread into the jaw, the rest of the mouth, or even the body, where it could result in illness. If, however, a dental filling is placed, the tooth can be cleaned of bacteria and decayed material and then filled to protect it from further decay. With the tooth reinforced, the likelihood of further damage to the tooth decreases significantly.
Schedule a Visit with Your Des Moines IA Dentist
Do you suspect a cavity has developed in your tooth? A dental filling can protect your tooth and restore your oral health. Contact your Des Moines IA dentist, Dr. Johnson, today to schedule an appointment or a consultation by calling our 50266 dentist office at 515-223-9764. We welcome patients from West Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, and nearby Des Moines metro communities.