Cavities are Changing

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I recently attended a class on…Cavities. Fluoride has hardened the outer surface of enamel so much that decay detection is a lot more difficult to find. Decay found in the pits and grooves of the teeth are so small and get a lot deeper not along the seam of the tooth but underneath. It is mushrooming under the healthy enamel and is undermining a lot of tooth structure. Acids sit in these weak areas of the grooves and pits and just keep digging deeper. They have found the weak link. Coupled with energy drinks and sportsdrinks, cavities are much more aggressive and treatments are different compared to how we have traditionally performed in the past. Frequent acid attacks in a mouth that has a lot of unhealthy “biofilm”(a collection of bacteria that is in everyone’s mouth) are causing cavities to be out of control in a lot of individuals. We have found traditional fillings are very difficult to perform in a lot of these cases because the amount of tooth structure affected is a lot greater than it used to be. So, what can we do? We have a screening meter to measure the activity of the bugs in the biofilm to see how active they are in order prescribe a regimen of acid reducing rinses to grow a healthy biofilm.
What else can we do? Early detection, digital xrays, laser-assisted cavity detection. We do recommend that most people if they do have cavities get them restored to proper form & function with the best materials that will strengthen the teeth. Traditional fillings weaken the tooth.