If you have one or more large cavities in your teeth, you may think tooth extraction is the dental treatment available to you. Although some nonviable teeth do require extractions, not all teeth do. You and your dentist may be able to reinforce and save your cavity-prone teeth with these tips.
Keep Your Teeth as Clean as Possible
Tooth decay isn't something that goes away with time and good wishes. In many cases, cavities can get worse without good homecare and prompt dental treatment. Cavities generally contain bacteria and plaque. If the bacteria and plaque on your decayed teeth sit for a significant amount of time, the debris can infect the vulnerable blood vessels and nerves inside your tooth crowns.
Infected pulp tissues can cause you great discomfort during the day and evening. Your teeth may also change colors or become overly sensitive to cold and hot foods and drinks. It's also possible to develop a foul odor and taste in your mouth from the infection. You may need to extract your teeth to prevent infection from spreading further.
Until you see a dental provider about your cavities, spend extra time cleaning your teeth. Most experts and organizations recommend cleaning your teeth for two minutes in the morning and two minutes in the evening. However, you may wish to spend extra time on your decayed teeth, especially if the holes in your teeth contain pieces of food or other debris that may aggravate your cavities. If necessary, use a floss pick or piece of thread to clean each tooth carefully. Floss removes any debris your toothbrush bristles might miss.
After cleaning your teeth, swish your mouth with warm saltwater. Salt helps control the infectious debris in your teeth as well as eases any aches you might have in them. Finally, call a dentist and restore your teeth.
Restore Your Teeth
Tooth restorations are alternatives to extractions. Restorative materials, such as composite fillings and porcelain crowns, allow providers to repair teeth that otherwise would require extractions. But before a dentist restores each tooth, they must see inside your mouth with radiograph pictures (X-rays).
X-rays allow a dentist to:
- see the complete size and depth of your cavities
- determine the extent or location of your cavities
- detect signs of abscesses in or around your cavities
A dental provider may also be able to find other cavities in your teeth you might not know about, including cavities located on the smooth surfaces between your front teeth. A provider may also examine the condition of your jawbone and sinus cavities. Some tooth infections can spread to your jaw and sinuses, and vice versa. It's important to consider every aspect of your dental health during your visit.
Once they complete your X-rays and exam, a dentist will set up your restoration treatment. Your treatment may include:
- filling your teeth with composite, porcelain, or amalgam restorations
- covering your teeth with porcelain or composite dental crowns
- applying sealant or fluoride to the rest of your teeth
If possible, you may need to return to the office at a later date and have your teeth cleaned by a dental assistant or hygienist. If your subsequent visit reveals any problems with your restorations, a dentist may address it right away.
Preventing large cavities from developing in your teeth in the first place is crucial to your overall dental care and health. If you feel any type of discomfort when you chew or drink something, consult a dentist immediately. Also report any changes in your gums, tongue, and throat as soon as you notice them.
For information about restoring your large tooth cavities or any other dental care, email, call, or speak to a dentist at a clinic like AQ Denture and Dental Implant Center soon.