What are Dental Cavities?
Yes we all have heard of cavities and may even had one or two, but what are they? Cavities are actually your tooth decaying. This is caused by certain types of bacteria make an acid that starts harming the tooth’s enamel and then goes to the layer underneath, the dentin.
What are some signs that you have a cavity?
- Sensitive to sweets
- Sensitive to hot foods
- Sensitive to cold foods
- Pain when chewing
Some conditions that are related to cavities are:
- Gum disease
- Tooth Sensitivity
How a Dental Cavity forms?
We already discussed how a cavity is formed by bacteria. When the bacteria starts form on your teeth, it is more commonly known as plaque. There is saliva in the plaque along with bits of food and other things. However, we all know plaque is most likely to form:
- Between your teeth
- Close to the gum line
- Near bridges or fillings
- In cracks and grooves
Bacteria turns carbs and sugars into acid, the acid breaks down our enamel and the enamel erodes and develops pits that are first too small to see but then grow over time.
Also, acid comes through pores in the enamel and this is how the decay begins in the dentin layer. As the dentin layer and the enamel break down, a cavity is formed. The cavity can keep growing and if the decay is not removed, it can grow and produce more acid getting into the tooth’s inner layer. This layer contains sensitive nerves and soft pulp.
When the dental cavity first starts to form, there may be be any symptoms, but the longer you wait to go to the dentist, the more likely it is going to be too late when you start feeling the symptoms like sesivity to hot and cold foods are sensitivity to chewing.
Early cavities can be stopped if caught early and the tooth can start to repair itself naturally. Cavities that are not caught early and start to harm the tooth’s enamel cannot be reversed. Most cavities continue to grow and get worse, growing even deeper. Eventually the cavity may get to the root. How long does this take? It varies from person to person. The erosion is painful and can take months or years.
Don’t Wait! Have a check-up or cleaning now!
It is best to not allow the cavity to get to that level and to have regular check ups and cleanings at the dentist. If you are experiencing any pain that may be from a cavity, please do not hesitate to call us at 561-798-4077.