What Happens If You Get A Cavity Under A Bridge?

What Happens If You Get A Cavity Under A Bridge?

Dental bridges are a popular dental restoration option for people who have experienced tooth loss for several reasons. Bridges consist of pontic or false teeth anchored in place using adjacent teeth called abutments. A dental bridge creates a functional and aesthetic replacement for missing teeth.

One potential issue with bridges is the development of cavities underneath them. Cavities under the bridges are caused by bacteria that produce acid, which erodes tooth enamel, leading to decay. When a cavity forms under a bridge, it can be challenging to detect since the bridge covers the affected tooth or teeth. Over time, the cavity can spread and cause significant damage, potentially leading to infection and the need for more extensive dental work.

Symptoms Indicating Cavities Under Your Bridges

Early detection of cavities under your dental bridges in York Harbor, ME, is essential to protect your tooth and prevent severe infection. However, detecting such a cavity formation with the bridge on top can be difficult. Some of the signs and symptoms that may indicate the presence of a cavity under your dental bridge include-

  • If you experience pain or sensitivity in the area around your bridge, it could be a sign of a cavity. You may notice discomfort when biting down, eating hot or cold foods, or drinking acidic beverages.
  • A cavity under a bridge can cause the affected tooth to become discolored, either darker or lighter than the surrounding teeth. It can also indicate that the tooth is decaying.
  • Bacteria that cause cavities can also produce an unpleasant odor, leading to bad breath. If you notice persistent halitosis, it could signify dental decay under your dental bridge.
  • In some cases, you may see small holes or pits on the surface of the affected tooth. These may be visible when you examine your mouth in a mirror.
  • If a cavity under a bridge is left untreated, it can cause the abutment teeth to weaken, which can lead to a loose or shifting bridge. If your bridge feels loose or unstable, you should schedule an appointment with our dental office immediately.

If you experience these symptoms, you must contact our dentist in York Harbor, ME, for an evaluation. Early detection and treatment of cavities can help prevent further damage and more extensive dental work. Our dentist may recommend X-rays or other diagnostic tests to determine the extent of the decay and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

How Are Cavities Under Bridges Treated?

The treatment for a cavity under a dental bridge can vary depending on the decay’s severity and the damage’s extent. Sometimes, the bridge must be removed so our dentist can treat the affected tooth or teeth.

Here are a few of the treatment options that our dentist may recommend:

  • Dental filling: If the cavity is relatively small and hasn’t spread to the tooth’s root, our dentist may be able to seal it with a dental filling. Once they remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill the cavity with a tooth-colored composite material, the bridge will be cemented back into place. It is a preferred solution if the cavity is detected early.
  • Root canal: A root canal procedure may be necessary if the cavity has spread to the tooth’s root. Our dentist will remove the infected tissue from the tooth’s pulp chamber and root canals during this procedure. After the root canal is completed, a dental filling will seal the tooth.
  • Extraction: If the decay is too extensive to save the tooth, extraction may be necessary. In this case, the bridge and abutment teeth may also need to be removed for a new dental restoration, such as a dental implant or a new bridge.

How To Prevent Cavities Under A Dental Bridge?

It is possible to prevent cavities from forming under your dental bridge. Maintaining good oral hygiene and brushing twice daily with a dentist-recommended fluoridated toothpaste can go a long way in ensuring the health of your dental bridge.

An interdental brush or water flosser can help you clean the hard-to-reach areas under the dental bridge, where food particles and bacteria can accumulate. Using these can help limit the growth of bacteria and prevent cavity formation under the bridge.

Avoid foods and drinks with high sugar content, as it can increase the risk of dental decay. Instead, choose a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

In some cases, our dentist may recommend applying a sealant to the surface of your teeth to help prevent decay. Sealants are a thin, protective coating applied to the teeth that add an added layer of protection against cavity-causing bacteria.

Please book an appointment at York Dental Group to learn more about how bridges can help restore your teeth and how to keep your smile bright and healthy.

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