Cavities are painful threats to your dental health. They can sneak up on you when you’re not looking and result in painful and intrusive treatment.Read on to learn more about what they are, how to treat them, and how to prevent them.
All About Cavities: The Essential Guide
There’s nothing like the pain of a sore tooth. It starts off as a dull eever-presentache and can become unbearable if not treated. Most of the time a sore tooth is caused by a cavity.
What is a cavity?
A cavity is a hole that forms in your tooth from a lesion caused by damaged enamel and dentin. This occurs when the sugars and starch found in many common carbohydrates remain on your teeth. Foods that contain these carbohydrates include milk, bread, juice, soft drinks, fruits, and sweets. Bacteria living in your mouth transforms these foods into acids which combine with bacteria, other food debris, and your saliva to form dental plaque. Plaque then softens the enamel and dentin in your teeth which creates a cavity. A cavity left untreated will eventually destroy your tooth and lead to infection and an abscess.
Cavity formation is a result of 3 main factors: genes, hygiene, and the food you eat. Of the three, the food you eat is the main culprit.
Anywhere where good hygiene is difficult to maintain is especially susceptible to cavity formation. This includes the area between your teeth, grooves in your teeth, the area near your gumline, and other areas. This is one reason flossing is so important.
In the early stages of the cavity, your pain will be minimal or nonexistent because it’s only affecting the enamel. As the cavity grows and the decay approaches the nerve in the pulp, your teeth will become sensitive to cold and hot temperatures. The deeper the decay reaches, the more intolerable the pain becomes.
The earlier a cavity is treated, the less intrusive and easier the treatment. The smallest cavities can be treated with simple fillings. Deeper and more advanced cavities may require a root canal for treatment. For cases of extreme decay where a good amount of the root has been destroyed, dental extraction is necessary.
Preventing a cavity is always better than treating one, no matter how small or large. Brushing your teeth regularly and thoroughly is essential. Adequate pressure is needed to remove dental plaque, but be careful to not brush too hard and wear away enamel. As mentioned earlier, flossing is also essential for cavity prevention. Also be sure to eat a healthy diet low in sugars. Avoid eating sugar between meals and before bedtime. And finally, dental exams with teeth cleaning as often as twice a year are highly recommended.
Happy Teeth, Happy Smile
Preventing cavities and treating cavities early are essential to healthy teeth and gums. Brushing regularly and flossing daily are key to preventing cavities as well as a well-balanced diet low in sugars. Regular dental exams not only keep your teeth clean and healthy, but also allow your dentist to spot cavities as early as possible. Knowing all about cavities is important, but taking the best care of your mouth is even more important. Let your smile shine bright!
To learn more about cavity prevention and treatment or to schedule your next appointment, Contact Us.