Dental cavities or caries are amongst the most common dental issues. Despite the advancement in medical treatment, a huge proportion of the world population is still struggling with this condition. At the same time, it is avoidable with the right prevention strategies and timely treatment. For this reason, it is important to be aware about its causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment. Let’s know all about dental cavities.
Primarily, tooth decay is attributed to oral bacteria which eats up the enamel and results in the formation of cavities. The human oral cavity breeds more than 500 types of bacteria, which can act on the food trapped on and between the teeth and result in plaque formation. The plaque gets deposited on the teeth and converts sugar into acid. The acid dissolves the tooth enamel and digs cavities into the teeth. The following are the causes of this bacterial action on teeth:
- Consumption of foods and drinks high in sugar gives bacteria the opportunity to combine with them and attack the teeth.
- Lack of proper brushing and flossing causes food to get trapped between the teeth. The decayed food gradually combines with bacteria to form acidic remnants.
- Genetic susceptibility is another reason that elevates the chances of tooth decay in a person.
The symptoms of cavities are not well-defined and differ from patient to patient. There are chances that you may have them but not suspect anything at all. Experienced atlanta dentists suggest periodic dental appointments to ensure timely detection. At the same time, you should watch out for the following symptoms:
- An increased sensitivity to foods and drinks that are too hot, cold and sweet indicates cavities that are advancing deeper.
- Toothache is another indication though you may experience it only in spells. It is advisable to see a dentist even if you have periodic spells of toothache.
- You should check your teeth for any visible symptoms such as appearance of light or dark brown spots on the teeth. Gradually, a part of the tooth may break off and a hole may get formed in it.
The main strategy for tooth care is to focus on prevention rather than cure. You must take healthy diet comprising of plenty fresh fruits and vegetables. At the same time, high-sugar foods and drinks should be avoided. A proper oral hygiene routine is also essential. You should brush and floss properly and at least twice a day. Rinse your mouth after each meal to ensure that there is no food remnants trapped between the teeth. Regular dental visits are a must to detect and treat cavities in time. Here are the treatment options that most dentists recommend:
- Dental filling is the most widely used treatment for initial-stage cavities. The specialist will clean the cavity and places composite or silver amalgam to fill the pits.
- In case of further aggravation, root canal treatment is required. This is needed if the cavity reaches the center of the tooth and the nerve is infected. A crown is suggested for teeth with significant decay.
- For more serious cases, extraction may be required. The entire tooth or the affected part may have to be extracted. Dental implants or bridges are used to restore the tooth surface. Always get it done from an experienced and trusted dentist.
Dental cavities are an issue that most people tend to neglect. But this can result in big problems if not taken care of. Therefore, it is better to be vigilant and have it treated at an early stage and by an expert.