Cavities – Everything You Should Know

Excerpt: There is never anything positive about the sudden presence of tooth decay. It's even worse if it creates a cavity...

There is never anything positive about the sudden presence of tooth decay. It’s even worse if it creates a cavity which can cause an entrance for bacteria to get inside the tooth.

What Are cavities?

Tooth decay will attack the tooth and eventually may erode away the enamel on the tooth creating cavities. Acids and bacteria in chewed foods will cause the decay, this will present itself in the form of blackish/brown holes, or spots on the tooth. These decayed areas may eventually be a cause for concern as the could create cavities later on.

A cavity may not seem like much problem immediately, however, they can cause bad situations to occur, like dental abscesses which are very painful.

what are the signs and symptoms of a cavity?

They can! The presence and severity of the signs or symptoms depends on how bad the cavity is, the worse the cavity gets, the more likely you’ll notice it.
 

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of a cavity:

  • Abrupt, or sudden pain that happens for seemingly no reason.
  • Tooth sensitivity: Hot or cold beverages will impact your decayed tooth more than normal.
  • Noticeable decay: Small blackish/brown areas may first appear, then these can increase in size and impact.
  • Painful bite: Pressure from even

Can cavities be prevented or avoided completely?

Yup! Prevention is the main defense against those pesky cavities. Having a healthy oral care routine is crucial to having the least amount of cavities possible. We, “the least”, because some cavities may be out of your control. It’s possible that you may have weak enamel, or you could be genetically prone to them.

Here is an example of a great oral health care routine:

  1. Rinse your mouth with water for 10 seconds.
  2. Wet the toothbrush and add a small amount of toothpaste.
  3. Gently but firmly brush each tooth until all the teeth in your mouth are brushed thoroughly. (This should take 30sec to a minute)
  4. Spit out the toothpaste, then rinse and spit again, (you should avoid swallowing the toothpaste if possible).
  5. After brushing and rinsing, floss each tooth with a piece of dental floss, or use a tool such as a floss pick.
  6. After flossing, use mouth wash to rinse out your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting that out as well. You should also avoid swallowing mouthwash as certain solutions can contain ingredients like alcohol. The alcohol is generally used in minimal quantities, but it’s something to keep in mind.
 
If you’re on a rushed schedule, we get it, please don’t negate proper brushing for at least 30 sec to a minute. Having even the bare minimum amount of dental care is substantially better than none at all.

Who’s most at risk for cavities?

Everyone who has teeth is at risk for getting a cavity regardless of how good or bad your dental care routine is. People with unhealth lifestyles, are more likely to get cavities, (smokers, drinkers, etc.). This also includes people who don’t have a balanced diet. Children are possibly the most at-risk age group since they tend to eat the most negatively impacting foods and have the least amount of discipline for oral healthcare (we’re not blaming the parents, we’re just stating a universal truth).

Do some foods cause more cavities than others?

Yes! It’s likely not possible for most people to stay away from all these foods listed as they are very common, enjoyable foods. You know what? We’re not asking you to stay away from them, just keep the amount consumed to a reasonable quantity and eat a balanced diet.
 

Here are some of the foods that can be more cavity-causing than others:

  • Sour Candy – Candies are tough, chewy, and sour candies that contain more acids than other candies which can be bad for your teeth.
  • Bread – When bread breaks down it will digest into sugars and starches which can cause tooth decay. It can also be difficult to clean your teeth.
  • Alcohol – When you drink liquor, you ironically dehydrate your mouth. A mouth that lacks saliva will have a tougher time washing away food particles.
  • Soda – Soda typically contains both large amounts of sugar and carbonation. Sodas also can deposit acid on your teeth which is very bad for preventing cavities.
  • Ice – Some people like to chew ice if you do recommend chewing crushed ice. Larger ice cubes can be tough on your teeth, causing chips and breaks.
  • Potato chips – Potato chips contain lots of sugar since they are mostly fat and carbs. They also get stuck in your teeth quite easily which can be hard to clean.
 
There are more foods than these, but these some foods you should watch out for most. Remember, we’re not telling you to avoid these foods entirely. Lots of these foods are comfort foods, or celebration foods, just don’t over consume these foods, and make sure you clean your teeth after eating them.

Conclusion

Cavities are incredibly common, if you get one, it’s usually not a big deal if dealt with early enough, and it might not have even been your fault. Even with an outstanding dental routine, you can still get cavities. If you do get a cavity, don’t procrastinate to make your appointment, it’s always easier to take care of a cavity sooner than later.

No, you won’t always be aware about the presence of a cavity, some might hurt, some won’t. The best way to prevent cavities is a good oral routine and consistent checkups.

Some cavities are more severe than others, you also may experience more or less tooth sensitivity depending on the cavity.

Once decay starts it often gets worse over time. If you notice persistent decay, the best thing to do is to ask your dentist on oral care advice.

Cavities can be embarrassing, but not all cavities are your fault! It could be anything from bad genetics, to just bad luck. Do not be self-conscious about informing your dentist.

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