Orthodontist In Whitefield | Sunshine Dental
When our teeth start to decay, holes develop in them, which are called cavities. Tooth cavities can cause various problems and toothache, which can be excruciating in severe cases. Tooth cavities become acute if ignored and left untreated. A tooth begins to decay when dental plaque builds up in the mouth. The plaque eats away at the structure of the tooth. The best way to prevent tooth decay is to practice good oral hygiene as prescribed by dentists.
There are several treatment cavities like fillings, etc. However prevention is always better than the cure. So it is important to keep your teeth, gums and mouth clean. Oral hygiene also entails avoiding certain foods, including limiting your sugar intake. These foods cause the build-up of dental plaque and leads to cavities. Tooth cavities may not be noticeable since not all cavities produce symptoms. This is why regular visits to your dentist is a must, since abnormal conditions can be detected during routine examinations before they get worse.
Causes of Tooth Cavity
Some of the bacteria that live in our mouths can be harmful. They form the thin, colourless layer of dental plaque over the teeth. When the bacteria form more layers, the plaque builds up. This may also occur when the person consumes too much food with a high content of starch and sugar.
All teeth care covered with an outward, protective layer called the enamel. The plaque contains acid and a build-up of the acid depletes the minerals present in the enamel. Though the enamel can reverse some of this damage by itself, too much exposure to the plaque acid can damage to the tooth to the extent of causing cavities. Cavities appear when the enamel has been permanently damaged and cannot repair itself.
Tooth decay can occur in people of all ages, but children are particularly susceptible to it. Hence it’s important to teach them how to maintain oral hygiene. Also, children’s teeth should be regularly checked for signs of tooth decay. Look for white, grey, brown or black spots. These are signs of mineral loss from the enamel on the tooth.
Symptoms of Tooth Cavities
The primary symptom of tooth cavity is obviously the hole itself. However, but the hole may not be so obvious can go unnoticed for a long time, if there are no accompanying symptoms. The size of the hole can vary according to how much it has been exposed to the plaque. Other signs of a tooth cavity may manifest as:
- Tooth sensitivity
- White, brown, grey or black spots on the tooth
- Bad breath
If tooth cavity is left untreated, the bacteria can spread to the soft, interior tissues of the teeth. This only accelerates the decay in the tooth and results in more acute toothaches. It may also make the tooth vulnerable to further infection.
A tooth cavity is permanent, it cannot be reversed. Treatments can only be cosmetic in nature like tooth fillings and root canal, among others. The type of treatment depends on the location of the cavity and the severity of the condition.
However, it is always better to take steps to avoid tooth cavities. There are certain ways to combat the build-up of dental plaque, which is the main culprit behind the cavities. Here are some tips:
- Using toothpastes and mouthwashes, which contain fluoride
- Brushing teeth twice a day in a circular motion
- Gently brushing the gums
- Using a cleaner like floss for the gaps between teeth
- Avoiding excessive eating of food and drinks high in sugar and starch, particularly fizzy drinks
- Avoiding snacks between meals and just before going to bed
- Avoiding tobacco
- Consuming alcohol in moderation
- Regularly visiting a dentist
It is possible to reverse tooth decay in the early stages. The tooth enamel itself can repair some of the damage by retrieving lost minerals from saliva. You can help your enamel by using fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that can repair tooth decay. A dentist may also prescribe other fluoride products like fluoride gel for coating your teeth. Fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel, which in turn protects against decay from plaque.