Painful eating, tooth sensitivity, and bad breath, oh my! If eating your favorite ice cream or sipping a refreshing glass of chilled water sends a shock of sensitivity down your body, you may have a cavity. If this is the case, don’t ignore it. Getting cavities filled as soon as possible is the key to protecting your teeth and avoiding a dreaded root canal or, worse, a tooth extraction.

A cavity impacts the tooth’s hard outer layer, called the enamel. Once there is a hole in the enamel, the cavity will worsen if left untreated. The pain, sensitivity, and bad breath will increase, and it could lead to an infection. If it gets bad enough, you could even lose your tooth.

Luckily, it would have to be severe to get to the point of extraction. Regular, 6-month visits to your Davis County dentist will help prevent dental disasters.

Filling You in on Cavities


The Importance of Cavity Fillings

When a cavity forms, it exposes the underlying layers of your tooth to dangerous bacteria and acids. The purpose of cavity fillings is to repair the decayed tooth structure, fill the hole, and prevent further decay from spreading.

Cavity fillings are necessary to restore your tooth’s functionality and halt decay. Get the filling; it’s much better than a root canal or tooth extraction.

How Common are Cavities?

According to the CDC, about 57% of adolescents aged 12 to 19 have had a cavity in their primary teeth. Approximately 90% of adults 20 and older have had one or more cavities, and one in four adults ages 20 to 64 currently has one or more cavities.

How Long Can a Cavity Go Untreated?

You may be confused when your dentist tells you that you have a cavity because you don’t feel anything at all. That is the best-case scenario. If you’re not feeling discomfort, it means that your cavity is minor and will be easier to fill.

Your dentist will want to fill a cavity immediately because the longer you wait to take care of it, the more painful and expensive it becomes to treat. One of the reasons we recommend twice-yearly visits to your Utah family dentist is so your dentist can check for cavities you may be unaware of. Treatment will be easier the sooner you visit because you won’t have too much tooth sensitivity or discomfort in those early stages.

How Many Cavities Are Normal?

There is not a definitive answer to this question. However, here is a general guideline of what can be expected for each age group.

● 19 Years old and Under

A few cavities are normal due to acidic or sugary diets and oral hygiene habits, but more than four cavities may indicate a need for diet changes and better oral care. Talk about a game plan with your Utah kids dentist if your child has more than four cavities at a visit.

● Young Adults aged 20-30

More than four or five cavities should prompt you to talk with your dentist to learn how to improve your diet and dental hygiene.

● Adults Aged 40-60

The sudden occurrence of frequent cavities (more than four) might indicate gum disease or other serious dental problems for middle-aged adults. Please consult with your dentist to get to the bottom of what’s going on with your dental hygiene if you are suddenly getting frequent cavities.

● Older adults aged 70 and Above

As with middle-aged adults, multiple cavities should cause concern and warrant a discussion and treatment plan with your dentist. If the cavities are happening in a short timeframe, there might be something going on that your dentist can catch.

Different Types of Cavity Fillings

When choosing which type of cavity filling to use, your dentist will consider the cavity’s size and location and the patient’s specific needs. Some common types of fillings include:

● Composite resin fillings

These are tooth-colored fillings made to blend in with the natural color of your teeth. They are used for small to mid-sized cavities.

● Composite fillings

This type of filling comprises a mixture of plastic resin and a powdered glass filler.

● Gold Fillings

These are a bit outdated, but gold fillings are custom-made out of metal.

● Porcelain Fillings

Tooth-colored porcelain fillings are an excellent option for medium-to-large-sized cavities.

If you need tooth fillings in Utah, don’t put it off. It might feel scary, especially if it’s your first time having them done. That’s why we go above and beyond to make your experience as comfortable, educational, and enjoyable as possible. Your nervousness might keep you from making an appointment, but a tooth filling is less severe and invasive than a root canal or tooth extraction. Keep it from getting to that point. However, if you do need more intensive treatment, we will tackle it together. Now that we’ve filled you in, let’s fill your cavities.