Dr. John Cranham treats many patients at his Norfolk, VA dentist office who have a tooth cavity. A cavity is most commonly caused by plaque buildup from lack of proper oral hygiene. When plaque comes in contact with sugar and starch, it activates bacteria in plaque, causing it to attack and erode tooth enamel. As the tooth enamel breaks down and wears away, it leaves the tooth susceptible to the formation of a tooth cavity. A tooth cavity is a permanent, damaged spot on the tooth that creates a tiny hole.
Symptoms of a Tooth Cavity
Depending on the location and severity of the tooth cavity, the symptoms may vary from patient to patient. Sometimes, there may be no symptoms at all and the tooth cavity is discovered at your routine dental visit. As the tooth cavity gets larger, the following symptoms may appear:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Pain when eating hot or cold foods and beverages
- Visible holes in teeth
- Pus around the tooth and gums
Dental Caries in Children
The number one issue in pediatric dentistry is dental caries, or a tooth cavity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 19% of children ages 2 to 19 have untreated cavities. At the foundation of children’s dental care should be fluoride (over age 2), twice-daily brushing, healthy food choices and routine visits to the dentist.
As a Norfolk, VA family dentist, Dr. Cranham provides comprehensive treatment for children to prevent and treat tooth cavities:
- Fluoride Treatment
- Routine x-rays and caries screening
- Dental Sealants
- Tooth Colored (Resin) Fillings
Treatment for a Tooth Cavity
Dr. Cranham offers treatments for your tooth cavity at his Norfolk, VA dentist office. Depending on how severe your tooth cavity, he may recommend the following treatments:
Dental Filling – Dental fillings are used as part of a conservative treatment plan aimed at preserving the natural tooth at our Norfolk, VA dentist office. A dental filling is used when a tooth is weakened because of cracks, chips, breaks, cavities or other reasons. The filling is intended to not just restore strength, but to protect the tooth from future damage or decay.
Root Canal – In some cases, the tooth decay may be so severe that it extends to the tooth’s root canal, causing extreme pain or infection. Root canals are a conservative alternative to tooth extraction. Root canals can effectively remove tooth decay without compromising the integrity of the jaw or bite.
Dental Crown – Dental crowns may be recommended to treat a wide range of restorative and cosmetic dental concerns including a tooth cavity. For large cavities, Dr. Cranham may choose a dental crown to cover the tooth and restore stability. Our dental crowns can be designed and fabricated in our Chesapeake office using the E4D CAD/CAM system or hand crafted in the adjacent dental lab.
How to Prevent a Tooth Cavity
- Visit your dentist bi-annually for a checkup and a teeth cleaning
- Brush your teeth twice daily
- Floss your teeth once a day
- Limit sugar and soda and eat a healthy diet