What are Dental Caries?

One of the most widespread dental problems out there, dental caries (also known as decay or cavities), is a permanently damaged area on the hard surface of your tooth that creates a tiny hole. Practicing a good oral hygiene routine and seeing your Westmount dentist regularly can prevent caries and help you avoid dealing with a dental emergency in Montreal.

What causes dental caries?

Common risk factors for dental caries include poor oral hygiene, consuming lots of sugary or acidic foods and drinks, dry mouth and a lack of fluoride, which prevents cavities and can even reverse the earliest stages of caries.

The bacteria in your mouth break down food and produce acids that can damage your tooth enamel and eventually harm the pulp of your tooth. Plaque, the sticky that forms on your teeth, is removed by proper brushing and flossing. When it is not removed in a timely manner, the acids in the plaque will damage your teeth and cause cavities. That’s why it’s vital to brush twice a day and floss daily to remove bacteria and plaque.

Treating Dental Caries

Untreated cavities can cause infection, tooth loss and may lead to a dental emergency in Montreal. Depending on the severity of decay, there are several ways to treat dental caries. To treat a cavity with a filling, your dentist will remove the decayed portion of your tooth and fill the area where the decay has been removed with tooth-colored composite resin or silver amalgam. If a cavity is very large or there is a risk of the tooth breaking, dental crowns are often used to treat caries. Typically made of porcelain, a crown covers the whole tooth to protect, strengthen and restore it.

If you suspect you have a cavity and are experiencing toothache, sensitivity or visible pits and dark spots on your teeth, it’s essential to see your Westmount dentist as soon as possible. Our NDG dental clinic provides top-notch treatment to patients who are facing a dental emergency in Montreal, and can help you understand how to best prevent caries and keep your smile healthy.