Most people have experienced a cavity at least once in their life. A cavity is a small hole in the tooth caused by bacteria decaying the tooth over time, caused by a lack of proper oral hygiene, and exacerbated by frequent consumption of sugary foods and drinks. They are most commonly found in children, teenagers, and elderly adults, largely because these groups of people tend to eat sweeter foods and are less likely to be consistent with their oral health. If left untreated, cavities can worsen, burrowing deeper into the tooth, and even causing the tooth to fall out. This is one reason it is important to keep up with the recommended twice-annual dentists visit.
In the early stages of a cavity forming, there may not be any discernible signs to pick up on. One of the first symptoms someone suffering from a cavity will experience is sensitivity and tooth pain. Eating or drinking something particularly hot or cold might cause a sharp pain, and tooth pain might flare up for seemingly no reason. As the cavity progresses, it might become visible to the naked eye, with staining on the affected tooth, or even visible holes or pits in the tooth. The tooth pain will also become more severe and more constant. Eventually, the pain can grow bad enough that it becomes difficult to eat and interferes with your normal life. If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. The quicker a cavity is caught, the more easily it is treated.
To prevent cavities, make sure you’re brushing and flossing regularly, ideally soon after meals. The longer food stays on the teeth, the more opportunity there is for plaque and bacteria to grow, increasing the risk of developing a cavity. Visiting the dentists regularly to keep your teeth clean is also helpful, and has the added benefit of catching any potential cavities early before clear symptoms develop.
If you’re worried about the health of your teeth, please visit us today at www.morristownoralsurgery.com for more information.