What is a cavity?

Dental cavities (also known as caries or decay) is the most common chronic disease in children: it is 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever. It is also preventable. Yet, about 1 of 5 children aged 5-11 has at least one untreated tooth with decay.

Cavities are tiny holes that form in teeth due to the build-up of bacteria and plaque. If left untreated, they can cause severe damage and tooth decay. The enamel of a baby tooth (also known as a primary tooth) is about ⅓ the thickness of a permanent tooth and, therefore, far more vulnerable to bacterial breakdown resulting in decay. In addition, a cavity left untreated in a baby tooth could result in an infection that could damage the developing permanent tooth. Dental fillings remove decay, restore tooth structure, and prevent further progression of decay.

What are fillings, and how do they work to protect the smile?

A composite filling is a tooth-colored material that restores a broken-down tooth; it blends with the surrounding tooth structure and is made of a material that can withstand all the pressures from chewing. There are multiple reasons a child may need a composite filling. Some of the reasons a child may need a filling are decay, a broken tooth due to trauma, lost structure due to erosion or simply to restore cosmetics.

Cavities are a common issue that can happen to anyone. Children are more prone to dental problems because they may not be as diligent in brushing and flossing, which increases their risk of tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Learn more about pediatric cavity-filling options!

If you reside in the areas of Catonsville, Ellicott City, or Eldersburg, we welcome you to call one of our office locations to request an appointment. Catonsville (410) 788-4555, Ellicott City (410) 203-2410, and Eldersburg (410) 549-1212.