When you have a cavity, you might not experience symptoms right away. When you do start to have symptoms, they might not seem severe enough for you to get treatment.
Causes of Cavities
Cavities occur when holes form in your teeth due to decay. This can happen when your teeth are covered in plaque, which is made up of bacteria, food particles, acid and saliva. Plaque can wear away the tooth enamel that helps protect teeth from bacteria. When this happens, your affected teeth can begin to decay or form cavities.
Certain risk factors can increase your chance of having cavities. These include poor brushing and flossing practices, skipping regular dental cleanings and having a diet that is high in sugar or acidic foods and beverages. Other risk factors include having a dry mouth and not having enough fluoride to protect and strengthen your tooth enamel.
Symptoms of Cavities
Cavities usually don’t cause symptoms at first. When they get bigger, they can start causing discomfort and other symptoms. Common symptoms of cavities include having teeth that are more sensitive to heat and cold and feeling tooth pain. You might also be able to see a hole in the affected teeth or have white or black stains on them.
Problems with Cavities
As long as cavities aren’t causing you any problems, you might delay having them treated. However, this can increase your risk of developing potentially serious complications with your teeth. Some of these complications include tooth pain that doesn’t go away and abscesses in your teeth, which can lead to life-threatening infections. Cavities that are left untreated also raise the risk of damage to the affected teeth. You might chip them or crack them as the decay gets worse. You might also have trouble chewing your food,
When you have cavities, there are different types of treatment options available. Depending on how advanced tooth decay is in the affected teeth, your options can range from getting fillings to needing a root canal. Some treatment options for cavities include the following:
Cavities that are found in the early stages sometimes only need a fluoride treatment to prevent them from becoming bigger.
Dentists remove tooth decay and fill teeth with composite resin or other materials.
Dentists get rid of tooth decay and place a dental crown on the affected tooth to restore its appearance.
This involved removing the nerve tissue and decayed areas of the affected teeth, then filling them.
How can you lower your risk of having cavities? There are a number of steps you can take, including the following:
- Brush two or three times a day using toothpaste with fluoride
- Floss once or twice a day to remove bacteria and food particles
- Limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks in your diet
- Ask your dentist about having your molars covered with sealants to protect them from tooth decay
- Include more foods that protect your teeth in your diet, such as fruits and vegetables that have a lot of fiber and foods that have a lot of calcium
- Chew sugarless gum to increase saliva production, which helps wash bacteria off your teeth
- Have regular dental cleanings and exams done to remove plaque buildup and detect cavities as early as possible
If you have a cavity or if you need other dental care services, please contact Central Avenue Dental for an appointment. We have locations available in New York City and Valley Stream.