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Posted on: August 15, 2014
All About Cavities
Cavities can best be described as tooth decay. As we all know, tooth decay is influenced by what we eat, how we take care of our teeth, and the amount of fluoride in our toothpastes. If your family has a history of tooth disease or teeth problems, then you may inherit it that way. This is very common, as many people inherit tooth problems that have been passed down from generation to generation. Adults who suffer from a dry mouth are more at risk for cavities, as they have a lack of saliva in their mouth. Dry mouth is very common, and is normally the result of medications, illness, and radiation treatment. Tobacco users will also suffer from dry mouth, as the tobacco will use up the saliva in the mouth and leave the user with nothing to keep his or her mouth moist. Cavities are a very serious situation, and if left untreated, can result in the destruction of the tooth. This can also destroy the nerves as well, resulting in an abscess. An abscess is very serious, as it infects the root tip. If left untreated, an abscess can result in death. Although you may not realize it, cavities are a very serious matter that can quickly spread to something even more serious. If you visit the dentist on a regular basis, he will check for cavities. Without visiting the dentist, it is impossible to tell whether or not you have a cavity. Most cavities develop below the gums, and you won’t be able to see them. If the cavity exists in the tooth, you will be able to see it, as it will change the color of the affected area. If you notice a color change or a blackened area in your tooth, you should make an appointment with our office immediately. What you eat is a big contributor to cavities. If you eat a lot of sweets or drink a lot of soda, you will be at a higher risk for cavities. Foods that are rich in sugar or starch are eaten by bacteria found in plaque, which will produce acids that eat through teeth. This acid is very harmful to teeth, as it can eat through the dentin and enamel in no time at all. If you don’t do something about it, the acid will continue to eat at the tooth until there is nothing left to say – leaving you no choice but to get the tooth extracted. Over time, the tooth enamel will start to break down beneath the surface of your tooth, even though the surface will appear to be fine. Once the acid has managed to eat away enough of the enamel below the surface, the surface will collapse, which results in a cavity. After this has happened, if you don’t get it treated, the tooth will continue to be eaten and the cavity will continue to spread until all of the tooth has been eaten, after which the enamel will be gone and your root will be exposed – which can be very painful. Cavities will more than likely develop in the pits of chewing areas around the back teeth, between your teeth, or near the gum line. No matter where they occur, the easiest way to spot them is to visit the dentist. Visit our office and we will be able to do x-rays and find out just how bad they are and tell you what options you have. If you visit us in time, we may be able to save the tooth and stop the cavity before it spreads throughout your tooth.