The Process of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is caused by oral bacteria. These bacteria eat sugars in your mouth and excrete acid. Your tooth enamel is the strongest material in your body, but it’s vulnerable to acid, and over time the bacterial excretions remove minerals from your enamel.

Your body has a natural way to reverse this process with minerals in your saliva. You can support your body, too, with fluoride toothpaste that replaces the minerals in your teeth in a way that makes them more resistant to decay.

However, repeated exposure to bacterial acid, possibly enhanced by acids in drinks like soda, wine, or sports drinks, removes enough minerals from the tooth that it creates a hole, called a cavity.

Once a cavity forms, decay can accelerate. Food gets trapped in the cavity, and when bacteria excrete acid, it is concentrated in a small space, leading to more rapid breakdown of your tooth. When the cavity reaches the layer of your tooth below the enamel, called dentin, it can grow even faster as this part of the tooth isn’t as strong.

Then the cavity can reach the internal chamber of the tooth, leading to tooth infection. An infected tooth requires either root canal therapy or extraction.

Two Types of Fillings

Tooth-colored fillings come in two types. The most common type is the composite resin form. These are similar to dental bonding. The other type is a ceramic filling, which is more like porcelain veneers.

Composite fillings are ideal for most cavities. Once the decay is removed by the doctor, the material is placed into the tooth area and a curing light is used to harden it. Finally, it’s polished to give it an enamel-like appearance.

Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

In the past, many dentists used silver-colored metal amalgam fillings. These fillings were actually 50% or more mercury by weight.
Tooth-colored fillings are mercury-free. They look like natural tooth enamel, and they insulate your teeth from temperature changes.

Get Attractive Dental Fillings

At Skowronski Family Dentistry, we offer high-quality dental fillings to our patients. If you want fillings that look great and function well, please call (586) 977-8413 today for an appointment at Skowronski Family Dentistry in Sterling Heights, MI.