Have you ever suffered from pain or discomfort after a spoonful of hot soup or a bite of ice cream? Are you having a sharp pain or dull pain in or around your tooth? The chances are that you have tooth cavity, which has been caused by tooth decay. You can prevent tooth cavities by maintaining proper oral and dental hygiene.
What is Tooth Cavity or Tooth Decay?
A tooth decay is a permanently damaged area on the hard surface of your tooth which develops into small holes or openings. They are caused by multiple factors and their combination. These factors are sipping sugary drinks, bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking, and not cleaning your teeth properly.
The cavity in tooth and decay are the most common dental problems that have been reported worldwide. It is commonly found in children, teenagers and older adults. According to American Dental Association – about 92% of adults between 20 to 64 years have dental caries in their permanent teeth. This survey shows the prevalence of caries among the adult population.
If the cavities are not treated in time, they become bigger and start affecting deeper layers of your permanent teeth. They can lead to severe toothache, infection and finally, you may end up with tooth loss.
In order to prevent cavities and tooth decay, you have to imbibe regular good brushing and flossing habits. When acid is produced from plaque, tooth decay occurs, which builds up on your teeth. If you allow the plaque to build up, it can lead to dental caries, gum disease or dental abscesses.
Symptoms of Tooth Cavity
If you have tooth cavities, you might have the following symptoms :
- You may have a toothache which can be in the form of continuous lingering pain, which can keep you awake the whole night. It may also be in the form of bouts of occasional sharp pain without an obvious known cause.
- You may feel pain or tenderness while eating or drinking anything hot or cold. tooth sensitivity –
- There are grey, brown or black spots visible on your teeth.
- You are suffering from bad breath.
- There is an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
The symptoms of a tooth decay depend on the type of cavity and the severity of tooth decay. When a cavity first develops, most likely, you won’t even know it’s there. When a cavity gets larger, you may experience a toothache, pain when biting down, sensitivity to heat and cold. You may also have visible holes or black spots on your teeth.
What are the Causes of Tooth Cavity and Decay?
Tooth cavities are caused by tooth decay, a process that occurs over time. There are a number of steps required for cavities to form on your tooth. Cavity formation starts with the loss of tooth mineral and ends up eating all the way through the tooth.
Tooth decay also surfaces when you eat foods and drinks containing carbohydrates, become trapped between teeth and are not completely removed with brushing.
In simple terms, major causes of tooth decay are sticky, sugary foods and beverages. The less sugar you consume in your meals, the less acid, which prevents tooth decay to a great extent. Sugar combines with plaque in your mouth to weaken your tooth enamel, leaving you vulnerable to tooth decay.
Remember each time you enjoy a sugary snack, your teeth are vulnerable to more damage for the next twenty minutes.
It is important for you to understand the causes of tooth decay. This will help you to learn the proper ways to care for your teeth. Here are the tooth decay factors to watch out for
1 Poor Oral Hygiene
Not brushing your teeth regularly will allow plaque to build upon your teeth, which in the long-run will attack the tooth enamel. Poor oral hygiene manifests in a number of different forms. You might have bleeding or swelling gums or toothaches and other kinds of complications.
2 Plaque Formation
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. The bacteria present in your plaque produce acids after you eat or drink. These acids can destroy your tooth enamel and cause cavities and gingivitis.
When not removed on a regular basis, plaque adheres to your teeth and builds up over time. Plaque that remains on your teeth can harden above or under your gum line into tartar. Tartar makes plaque removal more difficult.
3 Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is also known as xerostomia, is a medical condition in which there is not enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. The saliva helps in washing plaque from the teeth.
If you are suffering from a dry mouth with a very little saliva, the chances of building up plaque and bacteria may increase more quickly. If it is left untreated, simple activities like chewing, swallowing and even talking becomes increasingly difficult.
Dry mouth is caused by not drinking enough water during the day or rehydrating after exercise. Temporary dry mouth is due to stress or nerves.
4 Eating and Drinking
When you eat or drink, carbohydrates remain on your teeth until you brush your teeth. In fact, even after brushing, you may not be able to remove all food particles or carbohydrates.
Food particles that tend to cling to your teeth increase your risk of developing a tooth decay. You must ensure to brush your teeth after every meal, especially drinking milk, beverages, dried fruit, dry cereal, hard candy, caramel, raisins, sugary cereals, and cookies.
5 Medical Problems
Cancer treatment in the form of chemotherapy sessions often exposes your neck and head to harmful radiations. This can promote the formation of cavities in your teeth, by changing the makeup of the saliva thereby promoting increased bacterial growth.
Tooth Cavity Treatment Options
Once you start having uncomfortable symptoms like pain or tooth sensitivity, you should visit a dentist. Your dentist will identify any kind of tooth decay after an oral exam. In a scenario, if your cavities are not visible from an oral exam, your dentist may use a dental X-ray to look for decay. Your dentist might use a dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating painted on the inner surfaces of your. They form a protective shield over the enamel of your tooth.
Below are few tooth decay treatment options that depend on severity. There are several ways to treat a tooth decay.
1 Tooth fillings
Your dentist will use a drill and remove the decayed material from your affected tooth. Your dental cavity is then filled with a dental filling material. Today, different kinds of dental filling materials are available in the market. You can choose to have your teeth filled with silver amalgam, gold, porcelain, or tooth-colored composite material.
If you have more severe decay, your dentist may place a custom-fit cap over your decayed tooth to replace its natural crown. A crown is basically a cap-like structure for a damaged tooth. Dental crowns are made from a variety of materials, including porcelain or metal. Your dentist will remove the decayed tooth material before starting the dental crown procedure.
3 Root canal treatment
Your dentist will perform a root canal treatment on your teeth to save your tooth having damage or decay. When your tooth decay causes the death of your nerves, you would be needing a root canal treatment to save your teeth and prevent unnecessary extractions.
Your dentist will remove the nerve tissues, blood vessel tissues, and any decayed areas of your tooth. Finally, your tooth will be filled and a crown will be placed. You can save your teeth with a root canal treatment making your teeth healthy again.
4 Early stage treatment
It is important to identify the tooth decay by the dentist in its early stage, so that a fluoride treatment can be done to restore your tooth enamel. These types of small tooth cavities can occur on the chewing surface of your teeth. If your tooth cavities are treated early, it can prevent any further decay.
5 Dealing with pain
Decay and Cavities can be the cause of a lot of pain and discomfort in your mouth. While you are waiting for your dentist’s appointment, you may like to know how you can soothe the irritation. There are few tips below you can do to deal with discomfort temporarily.
- Continue with your oral hygiene routine. Also, continue to brush and clean all parts of your mouth, including any sensitive areas.
- You can try over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers.
- Watch what you eat. Stay away from extremely cold or hot or foods when eating or drinking.
- Additionally, you can gently chew a whole clove to extract its oil and keep the clove under your tongue for several minutes.
- Another home remedy that gives some relief is to keep crushed garlic clove and add a little salt to fill the cavities in teeth.
Services of Cavity Treatment at Dentist Ahmed
We use the latest technology as well equipment for treating dental caries as well as tooth decay. Our team of highly-trained and expert professionals ensure to create individualized plans for our valued customers.
To learn more about the dental services and dental treatments we’re offering, do check our other blog posts covering:
- Root canal treatment
- Dental implants
- Tooth extraction
- Teeth whitening
- Toothache remedies
- Dental veneers
It is imperative to detect tooth activities and decay early. So, you must visit your dentist regularly, so early detection of tooth cavities is possible. Tooth cavities are much easier and cheaper to treat in their early stages. If the cavities are in their early stages your dentist might recommend using fluoride toothpaste.
One of the easiest ways to keep your teeth healthy is to increase your intake of Vitamin D. Vitamin D insufficiency may increase the risk of cavities.
We recommend that adults should have a check-up at least once every two years, and children below the age of 18 should have a check-up at least once a year.