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Recurrent Decay Around a Dental Filling
A dental filling can be used to repair cavities that form on teeth due to tooth decay. Fillings can also be used to rebuild teeth structures that have been compromised by tooth decay or to repair broken and worn-down teeth.
Tooth decay is the result of oral bacteria feasting on food particles that are stuck on teeth after meals. These germs convert sugars into teeth-damaging acids, leading to tooth decay. Cavities never go away on their own. A cavity will continue to expand until it destroys the tooth or leads to an infection. A dental filling is used to close the space created by cavities and to prevent acids in the mouth from getting into the cavity and expanding it.
How recurrent decay affects a dental filling
The term "recurrent decay" decay refers to the tooth decay that forms under an existing restoration like a dental filling or crown due to the restoration being loose or a leak allowing acids and bacteria to get past the filling. Such leaks or a restoration being loose can typically be spotted during routine dental checkups. It is one of the reasons that dentists recommend coming to the clinic at least two times each year.
Dentists often use a tool known as an explorer to check for worn-down areas around the edges of fillings. The seal between teeth material and fillings being broken allows bacteria and acids to get past the filling and expand the cavity.
Recurrent tooth decay not being treated can lead to the pulp chamber of the affected tooth being exposed to acids and bacteria in the mouth. At the very least, it can lead to severe toothaches or an infection. If the latter occurs, the dentist might need to extract the tooth to prevent the infection from spreading further.
X-rays are also used to examine fillings and to determine if decay is going on underneath it. The extent of the decay will determine how the dentist decides to treat it.
Treating recurrent tooth decay
The best-case scenario for people with fillings is to spot recurrent tooth decay in its early stages when it has not yet caused extensive damage. Signs like tooth pain coming from a tooth that has been restored with a filling or a crack developing on it often indicate recurrent decay.
Recurrent tooth decay is treated the same way that dentists treat any other case of tooth decay. The early stages can be treated by removing the filling and any decayed material, then applying a new filling to the tooth.
If the damage is more severe, the dentist might have to perform a root canal or protect the tooth with a crown to prevent it from falling apart. At times, both are needed.
We can fix your damaged fillings
Damaged dental fillings leave your teeth exposed to acids and bacteria that break them down. Call or visit our Atlantis clinic if your fillings are loose or you have noticed any cracks in them.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Composite Fillings in Atlantis, FL.
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