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Signs That You May Need a Filling

Do you need a dental filling? If you have active tooth decay, you likely do. Your dentist in Columbia, SC, Dr. Joel Johnson, detects cavities and as needed, places white fillings that strengthen and beautify compromised teeth.

What is tooth decay?

The source of dental cavities, tooth decay is caused by the oral bacteria that is contained in plaque and tartar on tooth surfaces and interdental spaces. These bacteria give off corrosive acids which create the holes in tooth enamel. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that 91 percent of adults under age 65 have at least one cavity. Sadly, untreated cavities may lead to tooth loss.

Signs you have tooth decay

When Dr. Johnson examines a patient's teeth, signs of dental decay are obvious to him. Cavities look like dark spots or even holes on chewing surfaces and interdental spaces.

To the patient, however, signs differ. Depending on how extensive it is, a cavity may give you a throbbing toothache. Or, you may experience sensitivity when you:

  • Chew on something sugary
  • Drink a hot or cold beverage
  • Simply apply the pressures of biting and chewing

Also, you may notice decay if you lose part of an existing filling.

What you can do about tooth decay

Of course, preventive practices help people of all ages avoid tooth decay. Brush twice a day for at least two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss every day to remove harmful plaque. See your dentist in his Columbia, SC, office every six months for a prophylactic examination, X-rays, and cleaning. Additionally, eat a low sugar diet, and drink plenty of water every day to increase your production of beneficial saliva.

If you do exhibit signs of tooth decay or Dr. Johnson discovers it, count on his advanced treatment techniques to restore your tooth to full form and function. Most of today's fillings are made from tooth-colored composite resin. Durable, natural-looking, and able to withstand normal oral function, these restorations bond directly to tooth structure and require less enamel reduction than dark amalgam fillings.

Contact us

Don't wait if you think that you have a cavity. Call Dr. Joel Johnson for an appointment, and get the care you deserve. Phone our office team in Columbia, SC, at (803) 788-2555.

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