Why is it important for you to know about Dental Cavities
Dental Cavities – a problem which we consider as just another dental issue is really tormenting and can lead to further dental problems if not cured on time. It is also called as dental caries or tooth decay and is caused because of the bacteria which makes acid capable of destroying the enamel and dentin, the layer under enamel.
Formation of Dental Cavities
Our mouth is home to a lot of bacteria which are born on the sticky film called as plaque. The composition of plaque is adequate to give birth to bacteria. It consists of food debris, saliva and some other substances. It gets formed in places such as
- Cracks, pits or grooves in the back teeth
- Between teeth
- Around dental fillings or bridgework
- Near the gum line
Sugar and carbs (from the food that we eat) gets turned into acids by these bacteria and the acids thereafter dissolve the minerals which is present in the enamel. Once this happen the enamel erosion starts to place and pits are created. During the initial stages the pits are smaller and over a period of time it gets bigger. Now once the surface gets eroded, the acids will then flow inside the surface and thereby destroying dentin. Now that the enamel and dentin have broken down, dental cavities will start.
It is always advisable that dental cavities be treated as soon as possible because the bacteria can cause more damage. Further acids will be produced which will seep inside the inner layer of the tooth and that becomes serious as the tooth root might be affected and will require tooth extraction.
Detecting dental cavities
At the initial stage it will be difficult to detect the dental cavities as they might not have any prominent symptoms. However at a later stage when the tooth decay has penetrated through the enamel, that’s when you will feel tooth sensitivity and pain.
Diagnosis of Dental Cavities
Everytime you visit your nearest dental clinic the dentist will look for dental cavities with the help of a tool called as explorer. It might happen very rarely but at times some amount of force might be required to puncture the enamel so that your dentist can probe deeper.
X-rays will be taken as per schedule because they can reveal any new development with regards to tooth decay. It can also reveal any further damage to the pulp and whether or not root canal treatment is required.
If dental cavities are detected at an early stage then they can be cured however if they have depleted the enamel then it cannot be reversed. The duration of the treatment depends on the intensity of dental cavities.
Prevention of dental cavities
Dental Cavities can happen to anyone. Hence the best way to protect and avoid it is by regular brushing and flossing. Make sure that you floss everytime you brush because the food particles which cannot be removed by brushing will lead to cavities. Consume less sugary and starch filled foods and also consume less acidic drinks. Chewing gum that contains xylitol helps to decrease bacterial growth. Unlike sugar, xylitol is not a food source for bacteria. Other products also can reduce the acid level in your mouth. Ask your dentist about them.