We all try to do our best to take care of our teeth, but they face a constant onslaught from damaging bacteria. These can cause all sorts of damage, both to the surface of teeth, as well as deep down inside. These problems are related, but different. But cavities and abscesses are treated here at Dr. John D. Verville Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, and are preventable with proper care.
Cavities form on the surface of teeth, almost like little caves. Bacteria is constantly accumulating in our mouths in the form of sticky plaque, and these bacteria manufacture acid. This acid eats away at the hard layer of enamel on our teeth, held in place by plaque. Over time, this creates cavities. Cavities are more common in children, but adults can get them too. Sometimes, gums recede from teeth in the process of aging, and softer root structures become exposed where cavities can develop.
If gone untreated, cavities can lead to abscesses. Cracked or decaying teeth let bacteria into the softer, inner pulp of the tooth. Pus can accumulate deep in the roots, forming the abscess. This is often quite painful and can produce swelling and redness. The infection can spread to surrounding teeth and the jaw bone, eventually causing tooth loss. Often the best treatment option is a root canal. Thanks to development in technique and anesthesia, this is not as drastic or uncomfortable as many people think. Still it is always best to prevent damage if possible. Always maintain good oral hygiene, and get regular exams and cleanings.
For more information about cavities, abscesses, or to schedule an appointment in our Fleming Island, Florida, office, call us at 904-284-9911 today.