Cavities: What they are and how to avoid them
Most people know cavities are bad, but what are they, and how can you avoid them? This post will cover the basics of cavities: what they are, how to prevent them, and some common myths about them. Read on to learn more!
What are cavities?
Cavities are small holes that form in the teeth due to tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, builds up on the teeth and breaks down the enamel, the tooth’s hard outer layer. Cavities are also called dental caries or tooth decay.
Cavities can occur in both children and adults. However, they are more common in children because their teeth are not as strong as adults’ teeth and because they may not practice good oral hygiene. To prevent cavities, brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and eat a balanced diet. If you already have holes, your dentist can treat them with fillings, crowns, or other treatments.
How can I avoid cavities?
There are several things you can do to avoid cavities, including:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Flossing daily
- Eating a healthy diet
- Limiting sugary snacks and drinks
- Visiting your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings
If you have a cavity, your dentist will likely recommend a filling. Fillings restore teeth to their normal function and shape. There are different types of fillings available, including:
- Composite (tooth-colored) fillings
- Amalgam (silver) fillings
- Gold fillings
- Porcelain (ceramic) fillings
Your dentist will help you decide which type of filling is best for you based on the severity of the cavity, where it is located, and your personal preferences.
What are the symptoms of a cavity?
The symptoms of a cavity can vary depending on how severe the hole is. Some common symptoms include:
If you experience these symptoms, contact your dentist as soon as possible. They will be able to diagnose the problem and recommend treatment.
Are there any home remedies for cavities?
There is no conclusive evidence that home remedies can treat or prevent cavities. However, some believe using certain products, such as baking soda or apple cider vinegar, can help remineralize tooth enamel and reduce the risk of cavities. There is no scientific evidence to support these claims, but they may be worth a try if you look for a natural way to improve your oral health. Remember to speak with your dentist before trying any home remedies, as they may interact with other dental treatments you are receiving.
Cavities are common but can be avoided with good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. If you think you may have a cavity, contact your dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. They will be able to diagnose the problem and recommend the best treatment for you.
What happens if I don’t treat a cavity?
A cavity will grow more extensive and profound if it is not treated. This can eventually lead to an infection of the tooth, which can cause pain, swelling, and fever. If left untreated, an infected tooth may need to be removed. Cavities are caused by bacteria in your mouth and produce acids that eat away at your tooth enamel. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. When plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar, which is even more challenging to remove.
The best way to prevent cavities is to brush and floss your teeth daily and visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. Your dentist can also apply fluoride treatments to help strengthen your tooth enamel and make it more resistant to decay.
How are cavities treated?
The treatment for a cavity depends on how severe it is. In some cases, a simple filling may be all that is needed to fill the hole and restore the tooth. More severe cases may require a root canal or even an extraction.
If you have a cavity, your dentist will likely recommend a filling. This involves removing the decay from your tooth and then filling the hole with a material, such as an amalgam or composite resin. A root canal may be necessary if the decay has reached the pulp of your tooth, which is the innermost layer that contains blood vessels and nerves. This procedure involves removing the pulp from your tooth and then sealing it to prevent further damage. In some cases, an extraction may be necessary if the tooth is too severely damaged to be saved.
Can cavities be prevented?
Cavities can be prevented by following good oral hygiene habits and visiting your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. To help prevent cavities, brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and eat a balanced diet. You should also visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. Cavities are permanent damage to your teeth that a dentist can only treat. If you have a cavity, the dentist will remove the decayed portion of your tooth and fill the area with a filling. You may need a crown or other dental treatment if the cavity is large.
Cavities are most likely to develop in youngsters and adolescents, but they may affect anybody. Frequent checkups and cleanings at the dentist are the best methods to prevent cavities.
If you think you may have a cavity, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your dentist to schedule an appointment. Cavities can be treated, but it’s always best to avoid them in the first place.
Montgomery Park Dental is a dentist’s office in Conroe, TX, that offers a wide range of services for all of your dental needs. From preventative care to cosmetic procedures, we have you covered. We accept most major insurance plans and offer financing options to make sure that you can get the treatment you need. Call us today to schedule an appointment!
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If you live in The Woodlands, Conroe, Willis, and Spring, Texas area and want to learn more about what’s involved in our exams and cleanings, contact our office today and schedule an appointment with Dr. Jovanovic.