Empire Dental Group of New Jersey
Alla Pavlushkin, DDS
General Dentist & Cosmetic Dentistry located in Old Bridge, NJ
It’s estimated that 80% of Americans aged 30 and older have had cavities. Though common, without intervention and treatment, a cavity can result in tooth loss or other complications. At Empire Dental Group of New Jersey, general dentist Alla Pavlushkin, DDS, and the team provide comprehensive treatment for cavities. To make an appointment at the practice in Old Bridge, New Jersey, call the office today, or click the online booking feature..
Cavities Q & A
What are cavities?
A cavity is a hole that forms in a tooth as a result of decay.
Tooth decay occurs when plaque –– a thin film of saliva, harmful bacteria, and food particles –– collects on your teeth. Plaque is acidic and eats away at your enamel over time.
There’s no way to prevent cavities entirely, but you can significantly reduce your risk. It’s important to practice good oral hygiene and visit Empire Dental Group of New Jersey once every six months for an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning.
What are the symptoms of cavities?
Symptoms of cavities include:
- Increased sensitivity
- Tooth pain
- A visible hole in your tooth
- Black discoloration
As the cavity grows in size, you might also experience spontaneous pain that comes and goes, even if you aren’t biting, chewing, or speaking.
Who is at risk of developing cavities?
Anyone can develop a cavity, but there are several factors that increase your risk, including:
- Eating sugary foods and drinks
- Poor oral hygiene
- Lack of fluoride
- Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia
- Acid-reflux (GERD)
You’re also more likely to experience cavities if you have a dry mouth.
How are cavities diagnosed?
To diagnose cavities, Dr. Pavlushkin reviews your dental health history and asks about your symptoms, including when they started and if any activities like biting or chewing make them worse. Next, she conducts an oral exam, assessing each of your teeth with a small handheld mirror.
If visual observation doesn’t provide enough information, Dr. Pavlushkin orders a series of X-rays. X-rays can pinpoint deep decay or more serious underlying issues, like pulp damage or an infection of the root canal.
How are cavities treated?
Treatment of cavities depends on several factors, including the severity of your symptoms and their effects on your daily life. Dr. Pavlushkin might recommend:
If you have a minor cavity, Dr. Pavlushkin applies a filling. A filling uses a composite resin material to restore your damaged tooth enamel.
If you have a large cavity that affects the integrity of your tooth, Dr. Pavlushkin recommends a crown. A crown is a cap that restores your tooth to its near-original strength, size, and shape.
If you have a cavity that results in an infection of your tooth pulp, Dr. Pavlushkin does a root canal. A root canal eliminates bacteria from the center of your tooth, eliminating pain while preventing the need for extractions.
To learn more about the various treatment options for cavities, make an appointment at Empire Dental Group of New Jersey by calling the office, or click the online booking feature today.