Cavities or tooth decay are among the most common health problems. These refer to the permanent damage on the areas of the hard surface of the teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes caused by a combination of numerous factors such as bacteria in the mouth, frequent snacking, and poor oral hygiene. Cavities often start small, but they gradually become larger when left untreated and can lead to severe tooth pain, infection, or even tooth loss. Know that cavities and tooth decay are common among children, teenagers, and adults.
What are the signs that you may be having cavities?
The signs and symptoms of cavities significantly depend on its severity and location. Take note that when a cavity is developing, it does not present any symptoms or pain at all until the decay becomes extensive. Below are some of the common signs and symptoms of cavities:
- Persistent tooth pain that occurs without apparent cause
- Pain when you bite down
- Tooth sensitivity; especially when eating or drinking something sweet, hot, or cold
- Visible holes or pits in the teeth
- Dark or white staining on the surface of the tooth
How does tooth decay develop?
Cavities are a result of tooth decay that affects both the outer and inner layers of a tooth. Below is how tooth decay develops:
Plaque formation. Dental plaque refers to a clear, sticky film that coats the teeth caused by eating a lot of sugars and starches, and poor oral hygiene. When sugars and starches are not removed off the teeth, bacteria quickly starts to feed on them and form plaque. When these plaques are left ignored, they eventually harden under or above the gumline, turning into tartar, also known as calculus. Tartar makes plaque more difficult to remove and creates a shield for bacteria.
Plaque attacks. The acid in plaque removes minerals in the tooth enamel, which causes tiny openings or holes in the tooth surface. Once the areas of the enamel erode, the bacteria and acid penetrate and damage the next layer of the teeth called dentin. Dentin is softer than enamel and less resistant to acid. It also has tiny tubes that directly communicate with the nerve of the tooth, which causes sensitivity.
Destruction of the tooth continues. As tooth decay develops, the bacteria and acid continue to advance further through the teeth, reaching the inner tooth material or pulp that contains nerves and blood vessels. When this happens, the pulp becomes swollen and irritated from the bacteria. Thus, resulting in pain and discomfort that can even extend outside of the tooth root to the bone.
When cavities occur, the best way to deal with this problem is to have them checked and treated right away. Let us at McMillan Family Dental help address your issues with cavities. Getting the damaged teeth filled with tooth-colored fillings is one of the efficient solutions in preventing cavities from further damaging the teeth, and at the same time, help restore their strength without compromising the look of your smile and health.
Do you suspect that you have a cavity? Let us help you restore and regain your teeth’s function. Avail of our Tooth-Colored Fillings in Meridian, ID. Book an appointment with us at McMillan Family Dental. Our dental office is located at 1720 W. McMillan Road, Meridian, ID 83646.