According to statistics provided by the Canadian government, 96% of adults have a history of cavities. Most of you probably associate cavities with your back molars since they take most of the punishment and can be easily neglected when brushing or flossing. However, your front teeth can also suffer from cavities if you don’t practise proper oral hygiene. Unfortunately, these cavities are not only a matter of oral health but are also cosmetic since they are visible. As a result, your dentist needs to deal with them with special care.
Causes of Cavities
All cavities develop when acids, sugars, and bacteria combine to form the plaque which sticks to the surface of your teeth. If the plaque is not removed and remains on your enamel, the outermost layer of your teeth, it begins decaying the enamel. If plaque dissolves your enamel and reaches your tooth’s dentin, then it begins to form a cavity.
As cavities begin to grow, they damage the roots of your teeth which are filled with blood vessels and nerves. This will cause you to feel pain because the bacteria will lead to an infection called an abscess.
Initially, when cavities are small, you may not even know you have one unless you visit your dentist for a check-up. If you neglect your biannual dental check-ups and your cavities begin to grow, the affected tooth will cause you pain and discomfort. You may find it difficult to chew and, drink hot or cold beverages. Your cavity may also become visible as a brown or gray mark on your tooth.
All dental health professionals advise their patients that in order to avoid cavities, they must minimize their consumption of sugary sweets, foods, or beverages. Naturally, you must also practice proper oral hygiene and visit your dentist at least twice a year.
Cavities on Front Teeth
Even though cavities on front teeth are not as common as on molars, they do occur due to poor oral hygiene and a diet high in sugar or carbohydrates. In addition, certain medical conditions and genetic factors can increase the possibility of cavities. Consequently, these factors may increase the presence of oral bacteria that produce acid which begins to destroy your tooth’s enamel and dentin. Therefore, you mustn’t neglect to brush and floss your teeth systematically at night, since the food that is left between your front teeth will begin to damage them and result in cavities.
Other Conditions That Can Lead to Front Tooth Cavities
Having crooked teeth can also increase your risk for front tooth decay since it is more difficult to clean them properly. Furthermore, a condition called dry mouth which decreases the amount of saliva in the mouth can result in increased plaque and eventually tooth decay. Moreover, cavities may occur along the gum line or around orthodontic brackets or attachments since these are more difficult to keep clean so these areas are especially vulnerable to tooth decay.
Kids and Front Tooth Cavities
Pediatricians often warn new mothers that babies and children can have a higher risk of getting front tooth cavities if they fall asleep with baby bottles. This is referred to as baby-bottle tooth decay (BBTD). The risk is greater because milk or sweetened drinks can remain in a child’s mouth for extended periods of time and increase the levels of harmful acids that can destroy their teeth.
Treating Front Tooth Cavities
No matter where the cavity is located, it is vital that it is treated at the earliest stage of development before it reaches your dentin and causes an abscess. The treatment for a cavity located on a front tooth is basically the same as any other tooth which means that the cavity will be treated with a filling. However, since the filling will be visible, your dentist may recommend a composite (tooth-coloured) filling that will match the colour of your affected tooth.
If the damage to the tooth is visible, your dentist may also suggest cosmetic treatment as well. For example, you may restore the appearance of your tooth with a dental veneer which is a thin porcelain shell fitted to the front of your tooth. A veneer is created specifically to match your tooth colour. Veneers offer two advantages: protection and aesthetic improvement.
In cases, where the damage from tooth decay is extensive, your dentist may recommend a dental crown to protect the entire tooth and restore its appearance.
Preventing Cavities on Front Teeth
The best way to prevent cavities in front teeth is to adhere to your oral hygiene schedule. This means that you brush and floss your teeth properly at least twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. What’s more, if you eat or drink something sugary or acidic during the day and can’t brush your teeth, you should drink water to help rinse away some of the acids and prevent enamel breakdown.
Using fluoride mouth rinses/mouthwashes can also help you minimize the risk of tooth decay. It is also very important that you visit your dentist at least twice a year for a checkup. By doing so, your dentist will be able to identify any dental issues and address them at an early stage before they become more serious.
If you have any questions regarding front tooth cavities in Langley and Surrey, BC, call us at 604-455-6247 or contact us online. Remember, routine teeth cleaning every six months can help you enjoy the benefits of a healthy mouth. At Langley Dental Centre, your comfort and satisfaction are important and we are always happy to answer any questions.
We believe in a patient-centric approach and keep our patients informed about every aspect of their potential treatments in order to help them make the best decisions. We always aim to make every visit as pleasant as possible and, as a family practice, your convenience is always one of our priorities because we understand how precious your time can be.