Cavities in teeth are a common problem. Even with the best intentions and regular brushing, cavities can occur that lead to discomfort, bad breath, and the need for treatment. So, what exactly is a cavity, how are they caused, and what can be done to prevent them? In this article, we’ll look at the top five things you need to know about cavities, so you can take the best care of your oral health.
Did you know that bacteria of many kinds live inside our mouths? When bacteria consume the sugars from the foods we eat, it produces acid that can affect the tooth enamel. Leftover particles from food mix with the saliva in the mouth and form plaque. This sticky substance is full of the feeding bacteria, and coats the teeth throughout the day. The acid that is produced by the bacteria erodes the enamel and can eventually create holes, or cavities.
By maintaining an effective oral hygiene routine, bacteria and plaque can be managed, helping you to avoid tooth decay. This includes regular brushing with toothpaste that contains fluoride, as well as using dental floss and mouthwash. It is also best to avoid regularly eating food and drinks that are high in sugar, and if you do, wash your mouth out with water after consumption & before brushing. This will help you avoid brushing sugary saliva directly onto your teeth.
A visit to your dentist to have a cavity cleaned and filled is a quick and effective treatment that will stop you developing more complicated problems with your teeth. Most treatments take around 30 minutes, which is a small amount of time when you consider the long-term benefits.
A cavity is an open hole in your tooth that can cause sensitivity and toothache. Unless it is filled, the discomfort will become worse. The bacteria will eventually reach the living cells at the centre, infecting the tooth pulp. This will not only make your pain worse, but left untreated will eventually kill the tooth itself.
Untreated cavities can lead to abscesses, which are painful infected swellings in the gum. This infection can spread to other areas in the mouth, and also enter your blood where it can eventually travel to other organs in the body. This can potentially have serious implications for your health, so it is essential to seek prompt treatment.
When it comes to dealing with cavities, prevention is key to avoiding pain and complications. Be proactive in managing your dental hygiene and limit your intake of sugar-rich food and drinks to help minimize the impact on your teeth.
For more advice on cavities, or if you require treatment, get in touch with our team today.