If your doctor found a cavity during your last appointment, you’re not alone. In fact, 91% of American adults have at least one cavity. If you have only vague knowledge of what a cavity is and what that means for your health, we’ll clear that up for you right now.
What is a Cavity?
Also known as dental caries, a cavity is simply a hole that develops in your tooth. Along with gingivitis, cavities are among the most common dental problems and are a precursor for worse ailments. For example, patients who ignore their cavities can soon be dealing with tooth loss and other issues. Ultimately, cavities are a common problem, but every action should be taken to avoid them – To avoid them, it helps to know their causes.
Causes of Cavities
Colgate.com explains that cavities are made when the bacteria in your mouth interact with refined sugars and fermentable carbohydrates. This combination increased the production of acid in your mouth, an acid that eats away at your teeth’s enamel. While the combination of bacteria and sugar is the main way that cavities form, they are also caused when teeth are exposed due to receding gums or in severe cases of dry mouth.
Why are Cavities Bad?
Although cavities are so common, it’s beneficial to maintain a high standard of oral care and avoid them. Here are some other excellent reasons to keep your mouth free from cavities:
- They lead to tooth pain
- They can cause your tooth to become loose
- Cavities damage the tooth
- Teeth with cavities are much weaker
- Cavities can impact your smile and appearance
Common Treatments for Cavities
Once Dr. Sherman finds cavities in a patient’s mouth, the most common way to treat them is with fillings. Here is a list of the most typical treatments used on cavities:
- Amalgam or composite fillings
- Pulp capping
- Root canals
The determining factor in which treatment is used will typically be the amount of damage caused to the nerve in the teeth. If it’s minor, then a simple treatment such as fillings might work, but if the nerve was damaged, then it may have to be removed via a root canal.
Tips for Preventing Cavities
The best way to fight cavities is to keep up with excellent oral care practices. That includes brushing twice per day, flossing, and using a mouthwash with fluoride. Choosing a nutritious diet is crucial to preventing cavities as well, as foods like candy and soda will quickly provide the acid that cavities need to grow. With a combination of great oral hygiene and smart dietary choices, you can prevent cavities from blemishing your smile.
Count On Dr. Sherman for Dental Care in Encinitas, CA
Proper brushing and flossing are vital for preventing cavities, but attending your bi-annual dental appointments is comparably important. During your appointment, our highly-experienced team will assess your condition and do a professional cleaning on your mouth. We know the causes and treatments for cavities, and will help you make them a thing of the past. Contact us today!