Cavities are damaged areas on the surface of the tooth that develop into tiny openings or holes. Cavities, also known as tooth decay, are caused by several factors. Some cavities are a consequence of bacteria in your mouth, drinking sugar-based beverages, and/or not cleaning your teeth properly.
Tooth decay is one of the most common health issues worldwide. They are very popular amongst youth and senior citizens. Although is a reality, anyone can have a cavity as a result of not proper upkeep.
If cavities go without being treated, they will become larger and affect the deeper layers of your teeth. This can lead to severe toothache, infection, or tooth loss. Routine dental visits, brushing, and flossing consistently can prevent your tooth from decaying.
The signs and symptoms vary when it comes down to determining whether or not you have a cavity. When a cavity begins to start forming you may not experience any symptoms at first. Symptoms include the following:
- Toothache, sharp pain that occurs without a cause
- Sensitive teeth
- Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold
- Holes within the teeth
- Unremovable stain on the surface of the tooth
- Pain anytime you bite down.
When to Visit the Dentist
You may be unaware that a cavity is forming. That is why it is crucial that you have routine dental checkups and cleanings. Nevertheless, if you experience a toothache or any type of mouth pain, visit the dentist immediately.
Cavities are caused by tooth decay which is a process that occurs over time. Continue to read to find out how tooth decay develops:
Plaque development: Plaque is a clear, chunky substance that coats your teeth. This is a consequence of sugars, starches, and improper teeth brushing. When sugars and starches aren’t brushed off of your teeth, bacteria quickly begin to feed on them and form plaque. Plaque that stays on the teeth can harden under or above your gum line into calculus. This makes plaque more difficult to remove.
Plaque Attacks: The acid in plaque remove minerals within your tooth’s outer enamel. This causes tiny openings or holes to form in the enamel which is the first stage of cavities. Once these areas are worn away, the bacteria and acid reach the next layer of your teeth, called dentin. This layer which is softer is not able to withstand acid. Dentin has tiny tubes that communicate directly with the nerve of the tooth causing severe sensitivity.
Decayed Teeth: As tooth decay forms, the bacteria and acid continue to break down your teeth, moving next to the inner tooth material called pulp which contains never and blood vessels. The pulp becomes swollen and agitated as a result of the bacteria. Because there is no place for the swelling to expand within the tooth, the nerve receives pressure which causes pain.
Debunking Cavity Myths
- Sugar Doesn’t Cause Cavities: Cavities are a consequence of plaque build-up which causes bacteria to form into a sticky yellow film around the base of your teeth.
- Brushing Twice Daily Doesn’t Prevent Cavities: Although brushing twice a day is a vital part of practicing good oral hygiene, in reality, it doesn’t rank as the best way to prevent cavities, flossing does.
Here at Gentle Dental, we take pride in providing our customers with the best care for their teeth. Visit our website to learn about all of the services we have to offer here at Gentle Dental. Check out our locations in and around the greater Houston area.