The more you learn about cavities, the better your chances will be to fend them off. Cavities can develop slowly over time or they can show up one day and quickly get worse. It's best to seek dental treatment the moment you feel you may have a cavity so you can have it treated while it is still minor. Learn about the development of cavities and what causes them in this article.
The development of a cavity
In order for a cavity to occur, there needs to first be opportunity. Plaque left on your tooth will lead to plaque build-up. This build-up has acids and bacteria in it that weakens the enamel of your teeth. After the enamel gets weak enough, a small hole will be created in the tooth. As time goes on, the hole will become larger and larger.
The bigger the hole becomes, the more chances there are that it will cause tooth sensitivity, a toothache and even lead to an infection in the tooth.
It doesn't always have to be plaque that causes the original hole in the tooth. If you chip your tooth, or have one that's receding away from the gumline, then it can also develop a cavity in that area of the tooth.
Preventing a cavity
If it were as easy to prevent cavities as to simply brush a couple times a day, then far less people would have them. However, there are a lot of parts of your tooth that are very hard for a toothbrush to reach and these areas are the ones at the most risk.
It's important to incorporate other dental care tools into your daily dental regimen if you are to decrease your chances of getting cavities. Flossing will help by getting between your teeth where a toothbrush can't. A water pick can also help by blowing a strong stream of water in those places that are hard to get at. Mouth wash also helps by chemically killing off some of the leftover bacteria.
Protecting your teeth from damage is also important. Wear a mouth guard during practices and games if you are involved in contact sports, don't get a mouth piercing and don't use your teeth for opening packages.
Treatments for cavities
If your dentist catches a cavity early on then the proper treatment may be to get a filling. However, if it becomes larger then they may suggest going with a dental crown. For extreme situations, you may be looking at tooth removal.