Want to learn all about cavities of the teeth? The proper term for a cavity is tooth decay. It is when holes form in your teeth. Initially, the cavity is small. However, if you do not treat it in time, it starts becoming bigger. As many cavities are painless, you cannot recognize the problem easily. When you visit your dentist regularly, you can detect tooth decay at an early stage.
Mayo Clinic suggests that tooth decay is among the most common health issues in the world. The problem is growing worse due to the prevalence of high-sugar diets. Anyone with teeth can get cavities, even babies (Source). It can be difficult to find out that you have a cavity since it’s difficult to detect it in the first place. However, you can treat and prevent cavities from building up in various ways.
What are the Causes of Cavities and Tooth Decay?
A cavity can form on your teeth because of numerous reasons. It starts with the demineralization process. The plaque covering your teeth will start eating the minerals deep inside your tooth and cause a cavity. You experience tooth decay when you do not remove carbohydrate-rich food stuck to your teeth. To remove the food in between your teeth, you should brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly. Below, you can find some major causes that lead to cavity development:
Inadequate Oral Hygiene
When you do not brush your teeth twice a day, you allow plaque to build up on your teeth and attack the enamel.
Formation of Plaque
When you do not remove plaque on a daily basis, it builds up on your teeth. When you consume sugar, it remains in your mouth. Plaque digests those sugar particles and attacks the enamel. That will cause holes in the teeth. These holes turn into cavities.
Saliva helps to buffer the acid and wash plaque off of our teeth. Tooth bacteria and plaque build-up instantly when a person suffers from dry mouth.
Eating and Drinking
Food and drinks are the most common cause of cavities. As we have to eat to stay alive, we cannot quit food and drink. Although that can form cavities in your teeth, you should know how to prevent it. When you eat your food, carbohydrates stay on your teeth until you brush your teeth. Even if you brush regularly, you may be at risk of developing a cavity. It is possible that some food particles remain in your mouth despite brushing. Food that stays between your teeth can cause a cavity. Hence, you should brush your teeth properly. A dentist will guide you on how you can brush properly. After consuming soda, dried fruit, raisins, taffy, cookie, sugary cream, caramel, hard candy, or having flavored cereal with milk, you should rinse out your mouth.
Plaque Bacteria and Acid
Many people are not aware that bacteria live inside the mouth and on the teeth. The bacteria thrive on carbohydrates. When they digest carbohydrates, they remain on your teeth and form acid.
When you expose your neck or head to radiation in some treatments of cancer, you may start developing a tooth cavity. Bacterial growth will increase when the chemical composition of your saliva changes.
The symptoms and signs for the cavity may differ because of the location and extent. At the initial stage of the cavity or in the beginning, you may not find any symptoms. Once the decay starts growing, you will start experiencing the symptoms and signs such as:
- Pain while taking a bite of your food
- Staining on the enamel of your teeth (stains can be white, black, or brown)
- Visible pits or holes in the teeth
- Mild or extreme pain while drinking or eating something cold, hot, or sweet.
- Tooth sensitivity
- Pain without any known reason. Pain can be spontaneous or pulsating
Everyone with teeth is at risk of developing cavities. However, there are various factors increasing your risk of getting cavities. These factors are:
- Eating disorders
- Worn dental devices or fillings
- Dry mouth
- Age factor (too young or too old)
- Getting limited fluoride
- Brushing improperly
- Infant feeding before bedtime
- Frequent sipping or snacking
- Certain drinks and foods
- Location of the tooth
Cavities of the Teeth: Conclusion
You can prevent and treat dental cavity disease. For prevention, you can make various changes to your hygiene and diet. That will minimize your risk of developing bacteria and germs that cause dental cavities. If you are prone to dental cavities, the dentist will prescribe you fluoride varnish or recommended toothpaste so that you can restore your teeth and avoid any future conditions. With follow-ups and consistent evaluation with a professional and experienced dentist, you can maintain your oral hygiene, helping you in preventing dental cavities.
If you are looking for a licensed and expert dentist in New York City, visit our clinic for dental treatment. At Ideal Smiles Dental, we make sure that your teeth are receiving proper care to avoid cavities and any other conditions that might develop in the future. To make an appointment with our dentist, you can call us at 718-535-1196.