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How to stop dental cavities – ask a South East London dentist

01 / 11 / 2010

Around the outside of the teeth is a hard protective layer called enamel. This acts as a barrier against bacteria, disease and extremes of temperature, and also prevents over-stimulation of the dental nerve located in the heart of the tooth. However, if the enamel comes under attack form bacteria it will eventually be worn down creating small breaches or holes in the surface of the teeth. These holes are known as cavities or caries and can lead to dental infection.

When we eat food small particles get trapped in the tiny spaces between the teeth and act as breeding grounds for bacteria. Food that we eat that contains lots of sugar or starch also coats the surface of the teeth as it is very sticky. If we do not remove these food particles or sticky starch then bacteria builds in a filmy substance called plaque. This releases acids which erode the tooth enamel causing the cavities. This process is irreversible so it is very important you listen to your South East London dentist’s advice and brush and floss correctly everyday.

Once the enamel has been breached it leaves the door open for bacteria to penetrate to the centre of the tooth and attack the dental nerve. There are various procedures that can prevent this. The most common is a filling. This involves sealing the cavity with a hard material, traditionally silver amalgam but more recently composite bonding. In more extreme cases you may need to have a ceramic inlay placed in the cavity or even an entire dental crown to protect the teeth.

Preventing cavities is very simple yet all too often we take our teeth for granted and assume they will be fine. With just a small effort you can ensure the health of your teeth for many years to come.

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