Tooth colored fillings are required to restore a damaged tooth to its normal function and shape after it was damaged by cracking, chipping or by tooth decay. Tooth decay results to cavities which, when untreated, could lead to further tooth damage, root damage, or total loss.
Tooth decay does a process that occurs over time. The following contribute to the formation of cavities.
Dental plaque refers to the biofilm of bacteria that naturally occurs in the mouth. Many of the bacteria thrive on some forms of sugar contained in the food and drinks that pass through the mouth. When the sugars remain in the mouth for failure to clean them off, the bacteria quickly multiply by feeding on them.
The millions of bacteria in the mouth coat the teeth with a film, plaque. Plaque can easily be removed when still soft, but once it hardens, it becomes more difficult to remove. The hard plaque becomes a hiding place for more bacteria.
Bacteria produce acid
The acid in the plaque removes the good minerals in the hard, outer enamel of the teeth. The erosion of the enamel could result in tiny holes – setting the early stage of cavities. The tiny holes could enlarge letting the bacteria and the acid they produce to reach the layer beneath the enamel – the dentin, which is softer and more prone to acid attack. As the tooth decay progresses, the bacteria goes through the tooth up to the inner material, the pulp, that contains blood vessels and nerves. The presence of bacteria in the pulp may result to irritation and swelling that may manifest in pain, sensitivity, and other symptoms of tooth infection.
Location of the teeth
Teeth that are located in the back of the mouth, such as the molars and premolars, contain plenty of pits and grooves that can collect food particles. These back teeth are also more difficult to clean than the front teeth. Bacteria can easily thrive between the back teeth, making these teeth prone to the deterioration of the enamel that may lead to tooth cavities that will later require tooth colored fillings.
Some type of foods and drinks
There are foods and drinks, such as soda, cake, cookies, milk, and ice cream that cling to the teeth longer. Saliva does not easily wash away these type of foods and drinks. Hence, they are commonly recognized as cavity-causing consumables.
Inadequate brushing and flossing
Plaque can form quickly. Teeth must be cleaned sooner than later after eating and drinking to prevent the formation of plaque. Brushing of teeth must be thorough and adequate to clean the hard to reach areas; especially the back teeth that have plenty of grooves and pits. Brushing is not enough to thoroughly clean the teeth. Flossing is also needed to clean the spaces in between teeth.
Fluoride helps in the prevention of cavities and also inhibits the initial stages of tooth decay. Adults should always choose toothpaste that contains adequate amounts of fluoride.