What are cavities and how do they develop?
Cavities are one of the biggest sources of disease in the population. They develop when harmful bacteria in your mouth digest carbohydrates and sugars to produce acid. This acid begins to erode your teeth resulting in decay. Cavities begin in the enamel (outer tooth layer) and progress to the underlying dentin. They generally do not cause pain until they start approaching the nerve inside of the tooth.
Cavities are progressive in nature, so it is imperative to get them addressed as soon as possible. In certain cases, cavities that are solely into enamel may be remineralized, however the sooner we catch a cavity, the better. This is why it is extremely important to see your dentist at least twice a year.
Smaller cavities can generally be filled with a white filling material known as composite. As cavities progress and become larger you may need further treatment such as a crown and/or a root canal.
A crown is indicated when 50% or more of the tooth is compromised. A root canal on the other hand is a treatment that becomes needed when the bacteria causing the cavity begins to invade the pulp tissue and start to cause an infection.
How can I reduce my risk of cavities?
There are a variety of risk factors that make you more susceptible to cavities. Some of which include
- Heavy sugar consumption
- Inadequate oral hygiene
- Dry mouth
We take a look at every aspect of your mouth and systemic health in order to reduce your overall risk of cavities.