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What Are Cavities?

Home » Dental Blog » Cavity Prevention » What Are Cavities?

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Have you ever had a cavity? You’re not alone: one report shows that nine in ten Americans have cavities in their adult teeth! But how exactly do we get cavities, and what can make them go away?

Causes of Cavities

Cavities are small areas of tooth decay that are usually form holes in your teeth. Tooth decay happens easily if you eat a carbohydrate-rich diet without taking proper and consistent care of your oral health. This is because plaque and bacteria release harmful acid when they break down sugars on the enamel on the surface of your teeth, making it even easier to experience decay. Additionally, acidic foods and drinks like citrus, alcohol, and coffee can erode your enamel over time.

Symptoms of Cavities

While not always easily detectable just by looking in the mirror, the telltale signs of cavities include bad breath, a lingering bad taste in your mouth, pain and sensitivity, and dark spots on your teeth. Your dentist will be able to detect cavities during your next examination.

Treatment for Cavities

If the cavity is relatively small, it can be cleaned out and sealed up with a filling, which is a common and painless procedure. After removing the decay, your dentist will most likely fill the holes with resin or porcelain material for a natural look (as opposed to metals like silver, gold, and mercury, which were more popular in the past), so you won’t have to worry about anyone noticing a change in your smile!

Leaving Cavities Untreated

If you leave a cavity untreated, you’ll experience more sensitivity to heat and cold, increased pain, and further decay. Once this decay has reached a certain point, you might have no choice but to either undergo a root canal to salvage your tooth or even an extraction altogether. Once your tooth is extracted, you will then have to consider your tooth replacement options in order to maintain the health and functionality of your smile.

Come Visit Us!

It’s always best to visit your dentist twice a year so that any developing cavities can be taken care of right away. If you think you may have a cavity or just want peace of mind, let our team at White Settlement Family Dentistry take care of you! If you’re a new patient, be sure to check out our new patient specials. Contact us to schedule a cleaning and exam!

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