Cavities are a common oral health problem. No matter the age, people may be deal with dental cavities throughout life. Reading this article you will get an overview on this topic. You will find more about the tooth decay’s causes, about how cavities can be prevented and in the end you will discover some solutions in order to fix the problem.
Definition and causes
You must know that a tooth has three layers: enamel (the hard outer layer), dentin (the middle layer) and the pulp (the center of the tooth, which contains nerves and blood vessels).
Tooth decay (dental caries or cavities) is the destruction of tooth structure and can affect both the enamel and the dentin of the tooth. This oral health problem can affect children, teens and adults and it occurs when foods containing carbohydrates are left on the teeth. Bacteria in the mouth (the plaque, a sticky substance) digest the foods, turning the carbohydrates into acids that attack the tooth. This is how the cavities appear. If a tooth decay is not treated, it can cause pain, infection and even tooth loss.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a natural, organic toothpaste. Do not forget to brush your teeth before bedtime.
- Floss your teeth regularly.
- Rinse daily with a alcohol free –mouthwash.
- Eat balanced meals and healthy food and avoid snacks. If sticky foods are eaten, brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water.
- Visit your dentist regularly, twice a year, even if you do not have dental problems (to do your cleanings) and check- ups
Cavities are discovered during regular check-ups. When they are formed, cavities are small white spots on you tooth. If the decay is advanced, it may look like a darker spot or a whole.
Dentists treat cavities by filling them. They will drill to remove the damaged portion and then use a filling to replace it. Fillings help restore teeth damaged by the decay back, to their normal function and can prevent further decay.
If the cavity is too big, the dentist will remove the damaged tooth structure and replace it with a crown. If the pulp is affected, a root canal and also a crown will be needed. In case of very severe damage, a tooth removal will be the best reommendation. The missing tooth may be replaced with a bridge or an implant.
To conclude, have in mind that adults are as likely to get cavities as children are. In order to keep your mouth healthy your entire life, be aware of what are the causes for cavities, be aware of what a cavity is and do not underestimate the damage a cavity can do to your teeth.
In case you need further information or you believe you may have a cavity. do not hesitate to contact Dr. Arhiri.