Most people will experience a cavity at some point during their lives. Cavities can be painful and annoying and treatment can get costly if steps are not taken to fill the cavities right away. Cavities can affect people of all ages and may show up even if good oral care is practiced. The following are a few things that you should know about cavities so that you can better prevent and treat them.
Food Left on the Teeth Causes Cavities
When you eat or drink and do not clear the debris from your teeth, bacteria digests this debris and produces acids. The acids slowly start to eat away at your teeth. If this occurs frequently or if debris is left on the teeth for too long, the acids may start to wear away at the enamel on the teeth. Cavities are caused by this demineralization process.
Cavities Are Holes in the Teeth
Demineralization will eventually cause a hole to form in the hard enamel of a tooth. Bacteria can move through this hole and reach the soft dentin inside, turning it to a mushy brown pulp. As this process continues, more of the tooth becomes rotten and needs to be drilled out in order to fill the cavity. For this reason, it is important to fill cavities as soon as possible.
Dental Check-Ups Can Help with Cavities
Cavities don’t hurt at first, so dental check-ups can be very instrumental in spotting cavities before they are too deep. X-rays show cavities, so be sure to get them done according to recommendations so that you don’t ever require a root canal. Visit your Orlando dentist at least once every six months so that you can prevent cavities from forming and catch them very early if they do.
Fillings Are an Effective Treatment for Cavities
Fillings are a relatively simple outpatient procedure in which the decayed portion of the tooth is drilled out and filler is used to seal the hole. Fillers that are used include porcelain, silver, gold, amalgam, and resins. When cavities are filled shortly after developing, fillings are effective at stopping the cavity from worsening. If a cavity is deep into the roots of a tooth, however, a root canal may be necessary.
There Are Many Ways to Prevent Cavities
Brushing and flossing regularly can help to prevent cavities. When it is not possible to brush or floss after a meal or snack, swishing with water and chewing a piece of sugar free gum can help to remove debris from the teeth. Water pics and other specialized tools may also be helpful if there are hard to reach places between your teeth.
If you haven’t had a dental check-up in more than six months, contact your local dentist to set up an appointment today and prevent the hassle and pain of cavities.