In Oral Health

What Are Cavities?

Cavities are permanently damaged parts in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny holes. The small holes in your teeth can grow bigger and deeper over time, which is why it’s essential to schedule and dental exam every six months.

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What is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay, caries, and cavities are all the same thing. It’s a breakdown in the tooth enamel, which creates a hole in your tooth surface.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

The factors that cause tooth decay involve the bacteria in your mouth, constant snacking, sugary drinks, and poor oral hygiene. For example, your mouth is full of bacteria that develop a dental plaque film over the teeth. The dental plaque forms when bacteria in your mouth mixes with sugary or starchy foods, like fruit juice, soft drinks, bread, pasta, and fruit. The bacteria releases acids that break down carbohydrates in food and beverages.

About Oral Bacteria

Over 6 billion bacteria, including 700 different species, reside inside your mouth. Some promote health; others provoke disease. Read about Oral Bacteria: What Lives In Your Mouth

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More About Dental Plaque

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that continually forms on teeth. Everybody has plaque. Your job is to clean your teeth every day to prevent the bacteria in plaque from producing continuous acid attacks on your teeth. These acids can dissolve tooth enamel and create cavities and gingivitis (gum disease).

Remember: Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. Read more about what happens when plaque becomes tartar.

If you eat food, particularly sugary foods and drinks, the bacteria in plaque turn the carbohydrates into energy they need, producing acid simultaneously.

Cavities Early Warning Signs

Preventing cavities and having healthy teeth is essential for your overall health. However, in their earliest stages, cavities display very subtle warning signs. Look for these warning signs every time you brush your teeth.

  • Do you have a toothache or spontaneous pain?
  • Is there tooth irritation?
  • Do you experience mild to sharp pain while eating or drinking something sweet, hot, or cold?
  • There are visible holes or pits in your teeth.
  • You find brown, black, or white staining on any tooth surface.
  • There is pain when you bite down.

Can You Get Rid of a Cavity At Home?

Unfortunately, there is no possible cure for a cavity after entering the inner dentin layer. Therefore, the best method to remove a cavity and keep it from spreading is removing the damaged area and performing a filling procedure.

Cavities and Gingivitis

Any food debris left in your mouth can mix with bacteria and begin to form plaque. It can even start on your gum line near the teeth and cause gingivitis to develop.

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums and a known cause of tooth decay and cavities. In addition, you might begin to sense that a section of the gumline is growing tender or a tooth is starting to ache. These symptoms may be your body warning you that a cavity is developing.

Cavities and Demineralization

Once your tooth begins to demineralize, you will see a little white spot on your tooth. In this case, you are losing essential minerals that keep your teeth strong and healthy.

Is it time to see the dentist?

Cavities and tooth decay are amongst the world’s most prevalent health problems. Cavities are widespread in children, teenagers, and older adults. Unfortunately, you may not be aware that a cavity is forming. That’s why it’s essential to have regular dental checkups and cleanings. However, if you experience a toothache or mouth pain, see your dentist as soon as possible.

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