How Do Tooth Cavities Form?
What Causes Tooth Cavities
Plaque is a sticky substance that is constantly forming in the mouth, accumulating mostly along between teeth and around gums. Bacteria in plaque are activated by sugar and starch in the food we eat. The bacteria produce acid which eventually can lead to the erosion of tooth enamel and formation of tooth cavities.
Daily brushing and flossing is essential preventing cavities as this simple habit will greatly reduce plaque and bacteria in the mouth. Another important step to take is limiting snacks between meals, eliminating sodas and candy from the diet, and drink plenty of water.
Tooth Cavity Symptoms
According to national health statistics, one in five people have an untreated tooth cavity. Despite being one of the easiest dental concerns to prevent, dental cavities are the most common problem for children and adults.
The dentist is able to identify early signs of tooth decay before most patients experience any physical symptoms, so it is important to maintain regular dental check-ups. Common signs of tooth decay include:
- White spots on teeth
- Dark or dull teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Visible holes in teeth
Tooth Cavity Treatment
Dr. Caves can prevent tooth cavities with professional cleaning and sealants, which are plastic coverings that protect teeth. If you already have signs of tooth decay, the dentist may recommend the following treatment:
Composite Dental Fillings
Composite dental fillings are placed in a single visit, used to treat minor tooth cavities.
Porcelain or Gold Fillings
If the tooth decay is more extensive, Dr. Caves may use an indirect restoration such as a gold or ceramic filling to protect the tooth.
Root Canal Therapy
If tooth decay has reached the root of the tooth, a root canal procedure may be needed. This involves removing decay and infection from inside the tooth and sealing it with an inlay, onlay or dental crown.