Dental carie or cavity is the portion of your tooth that has suffered complete damage and developed a tiny hole or opening. Another name for dental carie is ‘tooth decay.’ Various factors can cause dental carie, such as frequent snacking, bacteria on your teeth, consuming sugary drinks, and not properly cleaning your teeth daily.
Tooth decay and dental caries are one of the most common dental problems in the world. Usually, older adults, teenagers, and children develop carie. However, you can find this dental condition at any age, including infants.
If you do not treat dental carie in time, it can damage your teeth to the deepest layer and lead to tooth loss. You may also experience dental infections and severe pain in your tooth. You can prevent tooth decay and dental caries by regularly visiting the dentist. More importantly, brushing and flossing your teeth properly is crucial for optimal dental health.
Causes of Dental Caries
When your teeth decay, you start developing dental carie. This process develops gradually over time. Below are the leading causes of tooth decay:
1. Plaque Forms
Dental plaque coats your enamel by acting as a sticky film. When you eat a lot of starch and sugar and do not clean your teeth, you may develop plaque as bacteria in your mouth start consuming those sugary and starchy components. When the plaque stays on your teeth, it hardens above or under the gum line and develops tarter. Tartar works as a shield for bacteria, which makes it even harder for you to remove plaque.
1. Plaque Attacks
When the plaque attacks your tooth, it removes the enamel’s minerals, which is the outermost layer of your tooth. That will develop tiny holes or openings in the enamel due to erosion. That is the first stage of dental carie. The plaque attacks and wears out the area, allowing acid and bacteria to enter your tooth’s next layer. The layer after enamel is dentin, and infection is the main reason for the sensitivity.
2. Destruction Continues
When you experience tooth decay, acid and bacteria enter the tooth, moving to the pulp; the tooth’s inside contains blood vessels and nerves. The bacteria irritate the pulp, causing swelling inside the mouth. As there isn’t much space for pulp to expand, it presses the nerves. That is why you feel pain when having a dental carie. This discomfort can also lead to the bone outside the root of the tooth.
Signs of a Cavity
A dental carie may develop for various reasons. Also, a smaller carie can become larger. Below, you will find some common signs that may indicate a dental carie.
1. Cold and Hot Sensitivity
When you experience sensitivity after eating or drinking something cold or hot, you have developed a dental carie. When the tooth’s first layer, the enamel, starts to wear, dental carie can attack dentin. Dentin is the layer of hard tissue inside the enamel. There are tiny microscopic hollow tubes in dentin. When enamel disappears, cold and hot food sticks stimulates the nerve and cells in your tooth. This leads to the sensation of sensitivity.
When you experience a toothache in a tooth or two, you can identify a carie. Pain is the most common symptom of dental carie. In rare conditions, you may suddenly start to feel the pain. That sometimes happens when you eat something. So if you are experiencing discomfort and pain around or in your mouth, you may be experiencing dental carie.
3. A Hole in Your Tooth
The white spot is the start of the dental carie. When this gets worse, you will develop a pit or hole in the tooth. You can easily see the hole when you look for it in the mirror, and you can feel by running your tongue over it.
You cannot see or feel many holes, especially in the crevices between your teeth. However, you may experience sensitivity or pain in the area of dental carie. As soon as you notice a pit or a hole in the tooth, you should immediately visit a dentist as this is an initial tooth decay sign.
You cannot consider dental caries as a life-threatening condition. Your dentist will design a treatment plan to avoid or minimize any risk of developing dental carie. Here are some complications of dental carie:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Tooth damage or loss
- Tooth abscess
- Difficulty chewing
- Dental abscess
A dental carie gradually becomes a serious condition that may result in tooth loss if left untreated. If you are experiencing any symptoms of dental carie, you need to contact a dentist immediately. Ideal Smiles Dental has the best dentists in New York City. After a thorough consultation they will find the best solution for your dental conditions.
To make an appointment with a dentist in our clinic, call us at 718-535-1196.