The Most Common Dental Health Issue
Falling second only to the common cold, cavities are the second most common health condition among the human population. In fact, they are one of the most common oral health issues we treat at Huntersville Dentistry.
What is a Cavity?
A cavity, simply, is a form of tooth decay.
Sugary foods, such as candy, sodas, and juices, and simple carbohydrates like bread and potato chips provide food for the bacteria that live in our mouths. While the bacteria in our mouth is completely normal and natural, it thrives when it finds sugary food particles to feast upon, producing a damaging acid.
Cavities develop when the acid, bacteria, and saliva in our mouth combine to form plaque. If the plaque is not cleaned off quickly enough, it consumes the tooth enamel, creating tiny holes in the surface. These holes are the beginning of a dental cavity.
Left untreated, cavities can evolve into bigger health problems like infections and tooth loss.
Signs of Cavities
Cavities can be hard to detect at home because they may go unnoticed at first. Once the cavity has made its way from the protective layer of tooth enamel to the softer tissues inside the teeth, you may begin to notice some symptoms. These may include:
- Tooth sensitivity, especially after eating sweet, hot, or cold foods
- Small, visible holes or pits in your teeth
- Brown, black, or gray dark spots on the tooth surface
- Bad breath
How are they Treated?
At the first sign of a cavity, be sure to come see your Huntersville family dentist as soon as possible. While cavities can be reversed during the early stages, it’s rare to catch them during this point since they have no symptoms.
To determine the likelihood of a cavity, your dentist will take an x-ray and depending on the severity, use a filling to treat it. Severe cases may require a crown or root canal.
Practicing good oral hygiene will reduce the number of cavities patients experience in their lifetime. In addition to brushing your teeth twice daily, here are some tips to help prevent cavities:
- Drink water regularly, and especially after eating
- Avoid frequent snacking and sipping
- Ask about dental sealants
- Use fluoride toothpaste
- Visit your dentist regularly
If you suspect you may have a cavity, call our friendly team today at 704.892.7866 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Marra. Regular dental visits are crucial to catching cavities before the progress, so if you haven’t visited Huntersville Dentistry in a while, make an appointment today.
Need An Appointment with Our Dentist in Huntersville NC?