A majority of individuals develop at least one cavity in their smile during their lifetimes. They are then familiar with the treatment for this early stage of tooth decay: dental fillings.
A cavity will not go away on its own, but when your dentist gets rid of one, it cannot reform. But did you know that it is possible to develop another cavity underneath a filling if you do not take good care of your dental work? Levesque Dentistry, a dental office in Nashua, NH, elaborates on the formation, treatment, and prevention of recurrent tooth decay.
What Is Recurrent Tooth Decay?
A cavity forms when plaque or acidity erodes the enamel of your tooth, leaving a hole in the tooth’s surface. Your dentist will spot a cavity during a routine dental examination and treat it using a dental filling.
The filling seals the now vulnerable area of your tooth from external threats. But if the filling breaks, becomes loose, or dislodges, plaque may access this spot and form another cavity, which dentists call recurrent tooth decay. It can be difficult to brush and floss this part of the tooth. So that tooth might be especially susceptible to developing a new cavity.
How Will My Dentist Treat Recurrent Decay?
Your dentist will check your smile for recurrent decay if they notice damage to your dental work. It can be visible in X-ray imaging. If they do spot recurrent decay, they will treat it similarly to how they would get rid of an initial cavity.
They will first need to remove the broken dental filling or crown to reach the decay on the tooth. The dentist will provide you with a local anesthetic at the beginning of the procedure so that you can remain comfortable throughout the process.
Then they will drill away the damaged portion of the tooth and cover and seal the resulting hole with another dental filling. If the decay has advanced, the dentist may need to use a dental crown instead in order to shield a larger part of the tooth.
Can I Prevent Cavities Forming Under Prior Dental Work?
If you take care of your dental work, including fillings and crowns, you can avoid developing recurrent tooth decay. To protect your dental work, you should not bite down on hard items like fingernails or ice. You should also talk to your dentist if you have a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth.
You can prevent cavities in general by practicing good oral hygiene habits. This includes flossing daily, brushing your teeth twice each day, and visiting your dentist for routine cleanings and exams.
Find Expert Preventative Dental Care in Nashua, NH
Levesque Dentistry offers teeth cleanings and more preventative dental care to patients in Nashua, NH. Our team of highly qualified dental professionals also specializes in general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, including tooth replacement solutions. To schedule an appointment with our practice, contact our office by phone at 802.424.8517 or reach a member of our staff online.