Sugary foods have become a common staple across the country. Without proper dental care, the sugar in these foods takes a toll on teeth. Sugar feeds germs(bacteria) in your mouth creating acids that eat away at teeth, leading to cavities. Over 96% of Americans have cavities. Fortunately, cavities can be treated, most commonly through a filling.
New Study Shows Fillings Put Neighboring Teeth at Risk
When your dentist “fills” a cavity, the decayed portion of your tooth is removed and filled with a metal or composite material. This procedure stops the decay and repairs the tooth. But fillings are not without a disturbing side effect. A recent study by the Journal of Dentistry blames the trauma caused by the initial filling for an increase in the decay of neighboring teeth. Researchers discovered that after an average of 4.9 years after a filling, 34% of neighboring teeth had experienced decay in the enamel.
Good Dental Hygiene and Checkups Reduce Risk
Fortunately, the alarming results of this study do not mean that you should avoid getting your cavities filled. The study revealed that the most at risk patients were those who practiced poor dental hygiene after receiving a filling. Proper dental treatment had a significant impact on preventing the development of tooth decay in teeth on either side of a filling.
At Aspen Heights Dental, your smile is important to us. We make sure we follow up with you after you get a filling to make sure that you are taking care of your teeth, especially those on either side of the teeth with fillings. On top of follow up visits, it is important to remember that the following habits contribute to your overall dental health:
- Regular brushing including brushing twice a day
- Use a mouthwash with fluoride
- Floss your teeth at least once a day
- Eat healthy foods
- Get regular exercise
Has it been a while since your last checkup? Schedule an appointment today!