Almost everyone has some cavities. In fact, at least 90 percent of the population does, but it’s likely nobody wants another one. In its early stages, tooth decay doesn’t have any noticeable symptoms. Pain isn’t experienced until the condition advances and causes damage to the tooth’s nerve. A cavity left untreated can eventually cause severe pain, in addition to infection that may spread.
However, tooth sensitivity may be due to gum recession, hard brushing, or the use of tooth whitening products. Here you will find some helpful information if you have been wondering what really causes cavities, and how they can be prevented or treated with good dental care.
Cavities are caused by harmful bacteria in the mouth that survive off small food particles that remain on teeth and gums. These bacteria release acids that eat through tooth enamel and create holes or cavities. The bacteria especially thrive on sugar or carbohydrates and without regular brushing and flossing the risk is increased for cavities and gum disease.
Although acidic foods such as citrus fruits or beverages like tea don’t cause cavities, they can cause the erosion of enamel, which can increase vulnerability to tooth decay. Additionally, certain medications reduce saliva flow, which normally help flush the mouth.
Although tooth enamel won’t regrow, it can be repaired. A dentist can remove the failing enamel and its accompanying bacteria before filling the cavity, but a root canal may be needed if the nerve within the tooth has been damaged. In some cases, the tooth may require extraction, but it is always most desirable to save the tooth when possible.
If you are interested in finding out more about preventing or treating cavities to keep your smile beautiful and healthy, Dr. Heidi Finkelstein at My Plantation Dentist can help. To schedule your appointment for an examination, please contact us today at 954-584-1030.