Tooth cavities can occur due to a number of reasons. A cracked tooth can lead to decay, while poor oral hygiene can also be a factor. Cavities can be very painful and will almost certainly need immediate dental treatment.
What is a cavity?
A cavity usually occurs when your tooth has been damaged or cracked in some way. It may even occur due to brittle teeth in old age. Whatever the reason, a cavity forms when your tooth has begun the stage of decay caused by bacteria that chew away at the enamel and the dentin. This can be extremely painful and may need root canal treatment to save your tooth.
What causes cavities?
Our mouths host a variety of bacteria from the food and drinks we consume. Certain acids emitted from the bacteria lead to a breakdown of the enamel and protective layer of our teeth. This gives way to further bacteria entering minute holes in our teeth, which become bigger and eventually out of control, causing severe pain and inflammation.
What are the symptoms of a cavity?
The first symptom is pain in a particular area of your tooth, especially when drinking either hot or cold beverages or after eating. If your teeth are sensitive to sweet things, this could also indicate a tooth cavity, and it’s best to visit your dentist at this point before it worsens.
How can you prevent cavities?
Despite the bacteria we all have in our mouths, cavities can be prevented successfully by consistent tooth care. This means brushing twice a day and using a mouthwash to clean away bacteria in your mouth that can lead to tooth cavities. Flossing is also essential in the prevention of tooth decay, because it can clean tight places in between your teeth where your brush might not have full effect. You should also visit your dentist at least twice a year for a proper tooth cleaning.
If you have a cavity or suspect that you might be suffering from one, it is best to treat it immediately. For more information or if you want to make an appointment with a specialist and experienced family dental team, call us today.