What is a cavity?
Nobody wants to have cavities, but what are they and how can you prevent them from occurring? They are a common mouth problem and lead to pain, discomfort and even tooth loss if not dealt with. A cavity can occur as a result of tooth decay. Keeping on top of oral hygiene, regular brushing and avoiding certain foods and drink can help prevent the development of cavities.
Stages of Formation
The initial stage of tooth decay involves plaque forming in your mouth. Some of the naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth thrive on foods and drinks that are high in sugar content. When these sugars are left on your teeth, the bacteria feed on them and create acid. Acid combined with bacteria plus food particles and saliva all form a plaque – a film of sticky residue on your teeth.
When plaque forms, the acid begins to attack tooth enamel, the hard-outer surface of the tooth. When the acid has attacked enough to form a small hole in the tooth enamel, that’s when a cavity is created. This then allows the bacteria and acid to reach the inner layer of your tooth, a softer layer known as dentin.
This destruction continues until the bacteria and acid reach the inner most part of your tooth called the pulp. The pulp becomes irritated and this might even reach as far as the bone that supports the tooth. This is when people begin to experience unpleasant symptoms such as sensitivity, pain and toothache. If the bacteria travels further into your body, your immune system might start producing white blood cells to fight it off, resulting in an abscess. Visit a Cosmetic Dentist Leicester today for dental health and a wide range of cosmetic treatments. For more information, visit St Johns Road Dental Practice.
Prevention is the best method and a little consistency and care taken in your oral hygiene routine can go a long way. You should aim to brush at least twice a day plus flossing once a day too. Ideally, people should brush after every meal, but we know this isn’t always practical. If you can’t brush, swill your mouth out with water after eating or use a sugar-free gum.
What you eat also plays a large part in the prevention of cavity formation. Try to include tooth-friendly foods in your diet which are things like vegetables, fresh fruit, dairy and cheese. Sweetened drinks should be avoided, as should frequent snacking.
Aside from your regular check-ups for an examination and clean, if you notice any trouble spots, it’s important to deal with them as soon as possible. Any pain or sensitivity should be mentioned sooner rather than later to prevent further development into a more serious problem.
The best ways to prevent cavities is to do the following:
Brushing in the morning and evening with a fluoride toothpaste and floss every day.
Try not to snack on sugary foods.
Don’t miss your dental appointments which should be about every 6 months.