What Causes Tooth Cavities and How You Can Avoid Getting Them
Spring TX

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What Causes Cavities?

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Most people may wonder what causes cavities and ways of avoiding this common problem that can lead to pain, discomfort, and tooth loss.  Tooth Cavities occur as a result of tooth decay. The process of dental decay is gradual, and it involves multiple stages.

The first phase begins when bacteria damage the tooth enamel and the destruction spreads deeper through the dentin, down to the pulp. If the loss of mineral from the enamel is untreated, more layers are affected, and a hole or cavity forms in the tooth.

Vita Dental Spring would like to enlighten you on what causes cavities and how you can avoid getting them.

Stages of Cavity Formation

The initial phase of tooth decay involves the formation of plaque. After taking a particular meal or drink that contains sugar, the bacteria in the mouth starts to turn the sugar in the foods and beverages into acid. 

The acids then combine with these bacteria to form a sticky film known as plaque. These acids erode the enamel, which is the tooth’s hard outer layer. The tiny openings that appear in the enamel represent the first stage of cavities. You may not notice this because the cracks are microscopic. That is why it is good to go for routine checkups at Vita Dental Spring so that the dentist can examine and eliminate such issues early.

Next, the bacteria and acid attack the second layer of the tooth known as the dentin. The destruction continues until the inner pulp is affected. At this point the pulp and the bone that supports it becomes irritated. You will experience a toothache, sensitivity, and pain when biting.

Causes of Cavities

1. Poor Oral Hygiene

Not brushing your teeth on a daily basis can cause a buildup of plaque that attacks the tooth enamel. Consistency and diligence can go a long way in ensuring that your teeth are sturdy, healthy and free from cavities. Brushing teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste can keep the formation of cavities at bay. If you are unable to clean after a meal, try rinsing your mouth thoroughly with water or mouthwash.

2. Poor Eating and Drinking Habits

Apart from poor oral care routine, Vita Dental Spring believes that several eating practices have played a significant role in the formation of cavities.  Each time you eat or drink, the carbohydrates remain on your teeth until you decide to brush your teeth.  And even if you do, you may not be able to get rid of all the particles. Foods that stick on your teeth increase your risk of developing a tooth cavity.  Brush your teeth well after consuming cookies, caramel, and cereals.

Sugar in the form of snacks and sweetened beverages increases the risk of an attack because sugar fuels the cavity forming process. Instead, drink water to wash down any acid that may have accumulated. You could also chew sugarless gum to trigger the saliva flow and help wash away the sugars.

3. Medical Conditions

Any person regardless of their current age can get cavities. However, the risk can increase if you have a dry mouth from specific medication or other health conditions or if you have weak enamel due to childhood illness or genetics.

In the early stages of cavity formation, you may not experience any symptoms.  Schedule an appointment at Vita Dental Spring for checkups and professional cleaning.  During these appointments, the doctors will be in a position to find trouble spots and stop them in their tracks before they spread and become a significant problem. Also if you experience tooth sensitivity, schedule a dental visit as soon as possible.

Things You Need to Know About Cavities

Tooth decay is not transmittable through kissing or sharing of a cup or spoon or any other item that carries a drop of saliva.

Cavities can damage any tooth especially on and in the grooves of the back teeth, where tiny food particles collect. Cleaning the back teeth is a challenge because tooth bristles are hard to reach these areas.

Treatment of cavities depends on how soon you visit the dentist to try and solve the problem. Before cavities form, a fluoride treatment will be appropriate. However, once a cavity has formed, you will need to get them filled. An even larger cavity may require a crown that will replace the damaged part. If the root is in bad condition, a root canal may be a chance to save the tooth. Finally, a severely damaged tooth needs immediate extraction.

It is important to note that, the primary cause of cavities is lack of proper oral care and eating unhealthy foods. Tooth decay can have serious consequences; therefore, practicing preventive measures can reduce the chances of it happening. Should you need special treatment for cavity prevention, visit Vita family dentist in Spring for advice on what to do to maintain the health of your teeth. You can also discuss with your family dentists if dental sealants are right for you.

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