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Cavity

When you don’t brush or floss well bacteria living in your mouth create holes in teeth, cavities! Bacteria turn sugar into an acid that dissolves enamel, the outer layer of teeth. Enamel is hard so the hole starts small and slowly goes deeper. Beneath enamel the tooth is softer, so the hole becomes bigger and deeper fast.

Can a cavity heal on its own?

Cavities can be stopped in the enamel by using dentist prescribed mineral tooth paste and improving oral hygiene. A cavity will not go away once it gets through the enamel. It will need a filling by a dentist. It cannot be filled at home or without a dentist’s help.

How do dentists fix cavities?

Dr. Kriston removes a cavity by removing all the acid in the hole and filling it with composite, a material made of glass and resin. It looks just like real enamel and is placed with tooth bonding. A big cavity may need a more durable all ceramic inlay, onlay or crown.

What will happen if a cavity is left untreated?

An untreated cavity can become a tooth infection and be very painful. At the center of the tooth is a nerve and if the cavity reaches it you will need a root canal.  A root canal is a last resort before tooth extraction is necessary. The best way to prevent an infection and a toothache is getting treatment for a cavity right away.

How does a cavity feel?

The first sign of a cavity is sensitivity to sweets. Sugar is acidic and it can jolt the nerves at the core of the tooth when the cavity is under the enamel. Most cavities start on top of molars, in pits and grooves, where candy sticks, or between teeth, if flossing is poor.

What foods cause a cavity?

If you get cavities easily, your diet and oral hygiene are likely the problem.  Eating too much sugar, even natural sugars, contributes to cavities. Snacking on carbohydrates, like potato chips or crackers, without brushing between meals allows acid to stay on the teeth longer. Drink plenty of water and allow your saliva time to neutralize the acid. Dry mouth contributes to cavities because saliva provides the main way to remove acids. Receding gums expose tooth roots where there is no enamel layer, so cavities are more likely.

Finally, cavities can contribute to inflammation in your blood and damage your overall health. Cavities shouldn’t be left alone, and they won’t heal themselves. Dr Kriston looks for the earliest signs of a cavity, so they can be fixed easily, and kept small.


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Michael Kriston, DDS

903 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Suite 120 Danville, CA 94526

Phone: (925) 838-2900 | Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM