Excessive junk food consumption especially by young children and improper oral care can lead to a condition called as a dental cavity. The cavity affects the teeth by causing widespread discolouration of the teeth, infection and pain.
The teeth also become porous as the bacteria gradually eat the tooth enamel away. In countries like America, around 30% of American children suffer from dental cavities.
Luckily, cavities can be easily treated by using dental fillings. However, how does one know when a filling is needed? Here are some tips to help you determine whether a filling is needed or not.
Tips To Determine If A Filling Is Needed
Be Aware Of The Symptoms
One of the best ways of preventing cavities is by being aware of its symptoms. Mild cases show no marked symptoms. However, severe cases of cavities and tooth infection lead to pitting in the teeth, spots and broad streaks on the surface of the teeth. These can be easily spotted by a keen dentist’s eye. He/she will then determine the extent of the cavity and how deep will the filling be.
Diagnosing Through X-Ray
In order to suggest a viable treatment, it becomes important to conduct an x-ray to study the porosity of the teeth and ascertain the damage done to the teeth.
The doctor also asks the parents pertinent questions like the amount of oral care the child receives and his/her dietary habits. He also ascertains the levels of fluoride in the patient’s toothpaste. This makes it easier to chalk out a remedial treatment and opt for a filling.
Excessive Use Of Teeth Whitening Treatments
Excessive use of teeth whitening procedures can chip and destroy the enamel of the tooth, making the tooth susceptible to cavities. Over time, the cavities deepen. It has been invariably seen that people who resort to too many cosmetic dentistry procedures also tend to suffer from cavities and may require a filling.
For severe cavities, the dentist may recover tooth caps, crowns or veneers to cover the teeth and prevent further damage. A veneer is like a cap that sits on the teeth and gives the tooth a beautiful , new appearance. Crowns can be another option if the teeth have not been severely damaged.
Monitoring Your Child’s Food Intake
One of the best ways of determining whether a filling is needed is to monitor the child’s food intake especially the sweets that he/she consumes as these lead to maximum tooth decay.
If the child is consuming sugary and starchy foods, rest assured he/she will have a high incidence of cavities which may prompt the need of a dental filling.
Excessive wear and tear of the teeth leading to tooth abrasion is a sign that a dental filling may be needed. The filling will prevent further abrasion. If the abrasion is not checked, it can lead to tooth infection and tooth loss. In more severe cases, abrasion would only increase the porosity of the tooth enamel.
Composite bonding is similar to a dental filling but is used only on very mild cavities. It is a procedure in which the affected area is roughened out. A composite material like a resin is then applied to the affected tooth to give it a shiny and new appearance.
Cavities can be controlled by reducing food intake through dietary measures. In its mild form, it is not dangerous and has only cosmetic implications.