A dental cavity, also known as a type of tooth decay, begins as a small opening or tiny hole in your tooth. When the cavity goes unnoticed or ignored, you may develop a more serious dental problem. Studies indicate that tooth decay and cavities constitute one of the most common health problems around the world. Most often, children develop these health problems; however, infants and adults suffer from tooth decay, as well.
When you ignore tooth decay and do not seek appropriate treatment, the size of your cavity will increase, and the decay will cause a severe toothache, infection, tooth loss, or other complications. Your routine office visits with The Mount Pleasant Dentist, along with good brushing and flossing habits, helps to prevent cavities and tooth decay.
One cause of a dental cavity is simply your tooth decaying. Tooth decay is the destruction the structure of your teeth. It causes cavities and toothaches and is a process that occurs over years. Tooth decay affects both the outer surface of the tooth, the enamel, and the inner layer of the tooth, the dentin.
Other causes of a dental cavity are frequent snacking, sugary drinks, not brushing or flossing your teeth, as you should, and poor dental care, in general. These activities create optimum conditions for cavities. The process of tooth decay occurs when foods that contain sugars and starches (breads, cereals, milk, soda, fruits, cakes, or candy) adhere to the teeth. When these food particles linger in your mouth and between your teeth, the bacteria in your mouth begins to digest these foods, producing acids. At this point, your mouth contains bacteria, acid, food debris, and saliva that join together to form plaque, a sticky substance that builds up on your teeth. Once the plaque builds up on your teeth, its acidity creates holes – cavities. Discuss with your staff at The Mount Pleasant Dentist what you can do to prevent tooth decay and reduce cavities.
Symptoms of dental cavities and tooth decay vary, depending on the extent and location of the cavity. As the cavity begins, you may be asymptomatic, but as the tooth decay increases, you may experience the following:
Not always, but most times, a toothache indicates a sign of a dental cavity and needs immediate attention. The preferred course of action is for you to schedule your routine dental check up with The Mount Pleasant Dentist as recommended as a preventative measure against cavities and tooth decay