What is Cavity ?
Permanent break down or decaying of the hard surface of the teeth is known as cavity. This leads to tiny holes or opening in the tooth. Cavities, which are known as tooth decay and caries as well, can be caused by several factors including bacteria present in the mouth, sugary food, munching snacks quite often and not cleaning or brushing your teeth properly. This is one of the most common health issues across the world and people can suffer from this at any age. Cavities should be taken seriously else it can penetrate deeper layers of the teeth. This can lead to tooth loss, toothache or infection.
What are the Causes of Cavity ?
Causes of Cavity
Cavities can be caused by layer of plaque formation on the teeth. A clear sticky film coating the teeth is known as dental plaque. The layer is formed due to consumption of more sugary products and starch on which the bacteria feeds. Plaque can further lead to formation of calculus on gum line and teeth, which acts as a shield to bacteria.
The acidic nature of plaque eliminates minerals from the outer surface of the tooth or from the outer enamel. This further causes small openings in the teeth which can be called the first stage of cavities. When the enamel gets worn off, the bacteria starts attacking the next layer of teeth called dentin. Dentin is softer in nature and less resistant to acid attacks. Similarly the damage continues and causes sensitivity and damage to other layers of the teeth.
What are the Symptoms of Cavity ?
Symptoms of Cavity
- Black stain on the tooth surface
- Sensitive tooth
- Formation of holes or opening on the tooth
- Pain while chewing or biting food
Treatment of Cavity
The treatment depends on how severe the cavity is or how much damage it has caused to the tooth. The dentist then removes the layer of the tooth affected by the cavity and fills it with fillers made of porcelain, gold, silver alloy, composite resin or amalgam. The fillings are safe and any allergies from it are rare.
In case the root or pulp of the tooth is affected or becomes dead, root canal is required. It is a procedure when the dentist removes the nerve, tissue and blood vessels along with the tooth and fills it up with sealers. Depending on the patients require crown (made of porcelain or gold) can be used over the filled tooth.
Prevention of Cavity
- Brush your teeth properly with fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Rinse your mouth post having sugary products or beverage. In case you have developed cavities, use a fluoride mouth rinse to prevent further damage.
- Avoid eating sweets or sugar products post brushing your teeth at night. It can put you at high risk of developing cavities.
- Visit your dentist at interval of every 3 months or as often required.
- You can consider using dental sealants which protects your tooth from plaque and acid attacks.
- Avoid frequent eating and drinking as your teeth can be exposed to constant attack.
- You can consider taking xylitol-based gum along with mouth floss to prevent cavities.