3 Common Causes of Distal Cavities

Even though tooth extractions in Athens are avoided as much as possible, sometimes, a tooth decays beyond the point of repair before the dentist can intervene with treatment. While most patients recognize when they have a cavity, distal cavities are harder to see and may progress quickly. Distal cavities are located in the back of the teeth and can have some pretty common causes.

Improper Brushing Techniques

When most people brush their teeth, they pay close attention to the front of their teeth that they can see. It is easy to neglect the not-so-visible surfaces that are on the interior and closer to your tongue. Not hitting these surfaces with the brush can leave bacteria and food residue clinging to tooth enamel where cavities can start to form.

Smoking or Vaping

Smoking and vaping are common culprits behind distal cavities. When you vape or smoke, you are not just pulling heat into your mouth that raises the temperature and promotes cavities, but you are also exhaling smoke or vaping residue that can get trapped on the backside of your teeth.

Lack of Dental Hygiene Appointments

Dental hygiene appointments are done to clean all those surfaces of the teeth that are commonly missed during regular brushing. However, these visits also tackle some of the distal areas of the teeth that can be more prone to decay. Patients that do not get regular hygiene appointments with their dentist can be more prone to distal cavity development.

Protect Your Smile with the Help of an Athens Dentist

With a good preventative care plan with an Athens dentist, distal cavities are less likely to form and go unnoticed. If you believe you have a cavity that needs to be addressed, reach out to us at Athens Smiles to schedule an appointment.

Do Fillings Have to Be Replaced?

Every year, millions of people see a dentist and walk away with a filling in their tooth where a spot of decay had formed. Fillings are one of the most effective ways to stop the deterioration of the tooth, but having one can bring about a few questions. One specific question patients tend to have is whether or not a filling ever has to be replaced. Here is a look at the answer to that question and a few other things to know about dental fillings.

All Fillings Do Eventually have to Be Replaced

A well-placed dental filling can last for many years before it starts to break down. However, the materials will eventually break down and need replacement. When dental filling breakdown occurs, it allows bacteria to get into the tooth and start to encourage new decay. The time it takes for a filling to breakdown can be related to:

  • Where the filling is placed; fillings in teeth primarily responsible for chewing may break down faster
  • What type of filling material you have (e.g. composite, amalgam, etc.)
  • The size of the filling

How Do You Know If a Filling Needs to Be Replaced?

One of your best plans of action is to follow a good routine when it comes to general dentistry checkups. It can be difficult to see that a dental filling has worn to the point that it should be replaced. The bond between the tooth and the filling may be interior where it can’t be seen, so if the bond breaks down, you may not notice much of anything. Of course, once a filling breaks down enough, it can fall out, which is an obvious sign that the filling should be replaced.

Let’s Talk About Dental Fillings in Athens, TX

A filling can be the number one thing protecting a tooth from further decay. If you believe you have a filling that needs to be replaced, don’t delay. Reach out to us at Athens Smiles Family Dental in Athens to schedule an appointment to have your dental filling assessed and replaced as needed.