How to prevent cavities? This is something many people would like to know. And it is always better to address the problem as soon as it appears or even prevent it if possible. Of course, if you are facing a problem already, you can follow this link to learn more about cosmetic dentistry and ways to save your teeth.
The most important thing is that there are plenty of options, and even if teeth are damaged, you can still save them. Here is all that you need to know about cavities.
What Are Cavities?
To start from the beginning, we need to take a look at what cavities are. Cavities are permanently damaged parts of the tooth. More precisely, they are the damage you see on the surface of the tooth. Over time, cavities will develop into holes or openings affecting the inside of the tooth as well. The tooth cavity is also known as dental caries, and it affects natural teeth.
If you have never had cavities, you should consider yourself lucky since these are one of the most common health problems in the world. If left untreated, a dental cavity can cause serious damage to your teeth, and it can even lead to tooth loss.
What Causes Cavities?
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a look at what causes cavities. There are several different ways they can manifest. Generally speaking, they are caused by tooth decay, and it is a process that takes a long time.
Firstly, we should talk about plaque. Plaque is a film that appears on teeth, and it is caused by food and drink with high levels of sugar and starch or by a lack of oral hygiene. The part of the tooth covered with sugar or starch will attract bacteria, and it will form plaque. After that, plaque will harden, making it difficult to remove without professional assistance, and it will protect bacteria underneath.
As time goes by, acids in plaque will remove minerals from the tooth (or teeth) and cause erosion. After enamel, bacteria will easily reach the dentin, which is the inner part of the tooth. Naturally, bacteria won’t stop at dentin. It will continue eating the tooth until it reaches the inner layer, that is, the pulp. And that’s when the reaction comes. A person will notice pain, discomfort, or swelling due to irritation, and they will need to visit the dentist.
Is There a Way to Prevent It?
Eliminating the possibility of dental cavities is impossible. Anyone that has teeth is at risk of developing cavities. However, there are a couple of things you can do to reduce the chances of developing caries and going through all the trouble after that.
Firstly, you should focus on your oral hygiene. Back teeth are at more risk since they have more roots, pits, and crannies. As such, it is harder to clean them properly, leading to plaque and all the problems we mentioned. Furthermore, certain types of food and drink will increase the chances of developing caries, and if you can avoid them, you will lower the chances of losing your natural teeth.
These include sugar, milk, soda, ice cream, cookies, cakes, hard candies, chips, and so on. Moreover, constant snacking and drinking can also be a problem. If you are someone who always likes to eat, you will significantly increase the chances of cavities. Of course, teeth get weaker with age, and there is not much you can do about it. Genetics will play an important role in your oral health, and you might experience cavities even if you do everything correctly.
One of the best ways to lower the chances of cavities is to brush your teeth after each meal or drink. Rinsing your mouth is more than helpful, and of course, learning how to properly brush your teeth. Brushing and flossing is an excellent way to remove food particles in your mouth and drink water. Preferably tap water since it contains fluoride.
Signs and Your Option if You Notice Them
Based on the extent of the cavity, there are a couple of symptoms you might notice. One of the first signs of tooth decay is sudden sensitivity. You might get something that’s hot or cold, and it will cause discomfort or even pain as soon as you bite it (drink it). Any type of pain or discomfort is a sure sign that you should pay your dentist a visit.
Of course, if you can spot a change in the look of your natural tooth, it usually means that there is something awry. These can be discolorations, holes, pits, stains, or anything else. And if the situation gets out of hand, you will be in constant pain regardless of whether you are eating or not.
Keep in mind that your dentist will be able to spot signs of decay as soon as it appears, and they will be able to treat it before it gets out of hand. This is why regular visits to the dentist are highly recommended.
There are many different treatments based on the severity of the problem. In the early stages, fluoride treatment can restore lost enamel and solve the problem. If the situation is worse, your dentist might opt for fillings. Fillings are made of different materials, and they are designed to replace the damaged part of the tooth.
If the situation progresses even further, getting a dental crown might be the best option. These are designed to replace the natural crown of the tooth, and it’s made of porcelain or other durable materials.
The next step of the cavity progression requires root canal treatment, which is usually a last-ditch effort to save the tooth. If the tooth can’t be saved, the only remaining option is extraction. But, you can also get teeth veneers/veneer teeth that will replace the damaged teeth.
Today, dental veneers look quite good, and no one will be able to see the difference. Veneers are shells made of composite materials, and they are permanently attached to the tooth. Porcelain veneers are durable, and they are an excellent option for those with weaker or damaged teeth.