How is a cavity formed? Dental cavities are a very common problem seen in dental offices throughout the country and around the world. They are, in fact, almost as frequent as the common cold. Though they are most common in children, adults are also susceptible to the tiny holes in the surface of the teeth. They occur when the bacteria that constantly makes a mouth its home feeds on the sugars and starches in food. As they do so, there is a byproduct produced – acid. The bacteria combined with acid, food debris, and saliva creates a substance on the surface of the teeth known as plaque. When this substance is not effectively removed with regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing, the acid is allowed ample time to eat away at the outer layer of the teeth, creating the holes known as cavities.
What are the dangers of cavities? When cavities form and are not treated, the acid continues to eat away at the inner layers of the tooth until it reaches the root. At that point, bacteria has direct access and can infect the root, eventually destroying it and causing the potential for a very painful occurrence, known as abscess. If the problem is not properly cared for, the dentist may need to eventually pull the tooth and use dental implants Austin dentists place these tiny inserts beneath the gum line, where they fuse to the bone and provide a base for a faux tooth to fill the place of the natural one.
What is the common treatment? Currently, an Austin dentist is forced to use a tiny drill to remove the areas of decay and any plaque or tartar (hardened plaque) existing there. Once that process is complete, the tooth can be fit with a protective filling that will keep the plaque at bay. Unfortunately, the drilling turns a lot of people off and makes them fear trips to the dental office.
What’s the good news? A team from the University of Leeds has discovered a possible solution to the problem that exists in dental offices throughout the country. Instead of using the drilling method of filling teeth, they report that there could be another solution. A fluid is being developed that could allow damaged teeth to regenerate themselves. In theory, the fluid would be applied to the teeth where it would form into a gel-like substance and provide a base for calcium to form into the bone needed to fill the gap. It would be a completely pain free process and could alleviate the anxiety so many people feel about going to the dentist. At this point trials have been very small, but the results have been promising and researchers feel that the possibility of teeth regenerating is a lot closer than many have thought. They speak confidently and suggest that this process of curing cavities could reach the public within a few years, providing dentists a quicker, easier, and less painful way of addressing their patient’s dental issues.