Learn More About This Common Dental Procedure
Our patients love when they visit us for a hygiene examination, their mouth is in perfect condition, and they leave needing no additional treatment. However, there are times when tooth decay creeps in and treatment is needed to remedy the situation. More likely than not, you or someone you know might have needed this type of treatment. We want to share some tips on how to properly care for your mouth following this extremely popular procedure. Read on to learn more.
What is a Cavity?
We know that no patient wants to hear that they need a cavity filled. You might be asking yourself, “What is a cavity anyway?” A cavity occurs when the tooth becomes permanently damaged due to bacteria that remains on the teeth from poor oral hygiene, sweets, and frequent snacking. Over time, the bacteria wears away the outer enamel of the tooth, creating a small hole, or cavity. If not treated in a timely fashion, the cavity continues to grow, causing discomfort and the need for more involved treatment. Cavities are one of the most common dental problems amongst children, teens, and adults.
What is a Filling?
Just as its name would imply, a filling is used to fill the hole after a cavity has been properly removed and treated. This common procedure can be used to repair a cavity as well as a tooth with a minor crack or chip. A filling restores function to the tooth. This minor treatment can be completed in one simple visit to the office.
Care Following a Filling
Although fillings are a routine treatment and many patients have experienced this before, there is some care required following a filling procedure. First and foremost, it is extremely important to be careful when speaking and refrain from eating or drinking while you are under the effects of novocaine. When the mouth is numb, it is very easy to damage your tongue and cheeks. We also suggest:
- Avoid chewing on the side of the filling for at least 24 hours
- Bite and chew carefully, being sure to avoid sticky foods
- If the mouth is tender, be sure to use an over-the-counter pain medication
- Brush and floss as normal
If you are experiencing any form of mouth discomfort, please contact our Montgomery, AL office today. We want to see patients who are experiencing difficulty as soon as possible to avoid further damage and eliminate the need for costly repairs.