A cavity develops because of the carbohydrates from your food gets left on your teeth. The bacteria that live in your mouth eat the food and turn into acid. This then dissolves the surface of your tooth, creating holes or cavities.
How do I know if I have a cavity?
Only a dentist will be able to tell you whether you have a cavity or not, but there may be some symptoms that you may feel at home that might indicate that it’s time for you to see your dentist. If you have a cavity, you may experience a toothache in specific areas of your mouth, especially when your tooth comes into contact with extreme temperatures or sweet and sour food. If you’re cavity is big enough, you may be able to see a small hole in your tooth when you look in the mirror, although it is hard to be able to see a cavity without an x-ray.
When you go for your regular check-up and cleaning, your dentist will take an x-ray of your teeth and will do a thorough examination of each tooth with dental instruments. From these two steps, he/she will be able to determine if you have a cavity and how severe your cavity is.
What puts you at risk of getting a cavity?
Here are some factors that may put you at a higher risk of getting a cavity:
- Eating a lot of sugar
- Having bad oral hygiene
- Eating a lot of acidic foods
- Having a dry mouth
- Not seeing your dentist regularly
- Frequently snacking or sipping
- Not taking the effort to clean hard to reach teeth thoroughly
How are cavities treated?
When your dentist has determined the severity of your cavity, he or she will recommend a treatment option for you. If the decayed portion is small, your dentist will remove it and replace it with a filling. If the cavity is deep, you may require some anesthetic treatment so your dentist can thoroughly clean the tooth before filling it.
If the decay has caused damage to a nerve or the pulp of the tooth, then a root canal will have to be done instead.
If you have any questions regarding cavities, visit a 123Dentist.com location today!