Cavities occur when harmful bacteria in the mouth react with sugar and starches from food, creating acids which wear down tooth enamel. Cavities can go undetected in their early stages, which is why dental checkups help to catch them. Once you can feel tooth pain you will need intervention to repair the damage to the tooth.
Types of Cavities:
Smooth surface cavities
–Form on the outside smooth sides of the teeth.
–Are the most preventable and most easily reversed.
–Develop slowly, first appearing as a white spot.
–Typically start in adult teeth between the ages of 20-30.
Pit and fissure cavities
–Show up on the narrow grooves of the chewing surfaces.
–Typically start showing up in the teen years.
–Hard to reach and clean.
–Show up on a tooth’s root surface.
–Common in adults past middle age.
–Seen mostly with receding gums.
In the early stages, fluoride may be recommended to strengthen tooth enamel. Once decay spreads inside the tooth you will need a dentist to drill out the decayed material and fill the space.
What you can do:
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once daily. A fluoride toothpaste can be used to prevent cavities from developing. Don’t skip dental visits! Keep scheduled dental cleanings and checkups every six months, ideally. Ask your dentist about dental sealants. Eat a balanced diet and avoid snacking between meals and sipping sweetened beverages. You can make a difference in your oral health.
If you would like more information, or to schedule a dental cleaning, please give our team a call at The Dental Implant Associates today at 312-467-5268.