Cavities are one of our enemies when it comes to oral health. There are many reasons why we might develop one, and there are plenty of things we can do to prevent them.
In today’s article, we will be reviewing what tooth cavities are: how they develop, how to spot one, how they are treated, all with the help of our Los Algodones dentists.
What are cavities?
Tooth cavities are one of the most common problems that kids, adults, and seniors can experience.
Cavities are also known by tooth decay, and it happens when our tooth enamel gets destroyed by bacteria. This damage spreads all the way down to the dentin and it reaches the tooth pulp, where the tooth nerves are at. As such, the damage that a cavity can do is not only cosmetic, but also brings tooth sensitivity, tooth pain, and even stains surrounding the area.
What makes them appear?
There are many reasons behind why dental cavities can form in our mouth. Here are some of them:
- Sugary, starchy, and acidic foods. The food we consume or leave our in our daily lives get stuck to our teeth. Likewise, leaving them there over long periods of time leaves bacteria with plenty of fuel to affect and damage our smile.
- A lack of dental care. Not dealing with the food particles or plaque buildup incites enamel damage. It is important to carry out and keep good dental habits in order to maintain a healthy smile.
- Saliva and dry mouth. Saliva plays a very important role at neutralizing harmful bacteria. It also helps moving food particles around away from our teeth. A lack of saliva production, AKA dry mouth, renders the mouth vulnerable against such threats.
- Age. As we age, our bodies change with us. There are certain changes in our mouth specifically that makes it all the more easy to get cavities. Our tooth enamel grows weaker, our gums can pull back, and we can develop dry mouth through age.
These are the most common reasons behind a tooth cavity. Remember that it is also important to include fluoride in your daily brushing through tooth paste. As well as certain diseases and/or disorders that bring stomach acid in contact with our pearly whites.
How to know if we have a tooth cavity?
Some common symptoms can give away that you have a toothache. For example, toothache, tooth sensitivity, clear damage on the back teeth.
Another way to know with certainty is to pay your dentist a visit. A dental checkup will determine if your teeth have cavities or not, while also making sure that there is no damage under way that can lead to such extend.
Most of the time, the amount of damage that has been done by a tooth cavity will determine the approach used. Our dentists in Los Algodones tell us the most common treatments from less invasive to the most:
- Dental fillings. When the damage is not that heavy on the tooth, the dentist drills away the decayed parts. They then proceed to fill the hole with a special alloy or composite resin that are safe and blend well.
- Crowns. When the damage has clearly compromised the structure of the tooth, then it needs to be removed. The dentist only removes the outside of the tooth as the nerves are still functional. They then fit a custom-fitted crown that looks and feels like a real tooth.
- Root canal. Once the damage reaches the tooth nerves and renders them unusable, a root canal is your best choice. All the nerves, blood vessels and decayed parts are removed. The hole is then filled and a crown is fitted on the top.