What are Cavities?
Cavities, or tooth decay, are the silent enemies of your teeth. They are small holes caused by bacteria that eat away at the hard, outer layer of your teeth, called enamel. Cavities occur when bacteria in the mouth combine with sugar and other substances found in food and drink to form acids. These acids then attack the enamel on the tooth, weakening it and eventually leading to a hole.
How can I prevent Cavities?
The best way to prevent cavities is to practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing every day, and having regular dental checkups. Eating a balanced diet with fewer sugary foods and drinks, and avoiding smoking and chewing tobacco, can also help reduce the risk of cavities.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Cavities?
The signs and symptoms of cavities are often difficult to detect. Eventually, cavities can cause pain and sensitivity when eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth. Other signs include discoloration or staining of the teeth, bad breath, and visible holes in the teeth. If you suspect that you may have cavities, it’s important to see your dentist right away.
What Treatments are Available for Cavities?
The most common treatment for cavities is a filling. This involves removing the decayed portion of the tooth and filling the space with a special material. Depending on the size and location of the cavity, your dentist may also recommend a crown, root canal, or other procedure.
Cavities are a common dental problem that can lead to pain, discomfort, and other problems if left untreated. Fortunately, cavities can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene, eating a balanced diet, and avoiding sugary foods and drinks. If you suspect that you have cavities, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible for a diagnosis and treatment. To learn more about cavities and how to prevent them, visit MouthHealthy.org.