Understanding Cavities - How to Keep Your Teeth Safe

19 February 2024
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


As much as you may try to take care of your teeth, sometimes you just can't avoid them being plagued by cavities. Cavities are a common dental issue, often affecting people of all ages. But what exactly are cavities, and how do they form?

What Are Cavities?

Cavities are essentially holes in your teeth, formed by bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria feed on the residue from sugary and starchy foods, producing acid that erodes your tooth enamel. Over time, the acid can eat away at the enamel, causing a hole or a cavity in your tooth. Left untreated, cavities can lead to further damage and tooth loss.

What Causes Cavities?

As mentioned earlier, cavities are caused by bacteria in your mouth feeding on the residue from starchy and sugary foods. The more frequently you consume these foods, the more likely you are to develop cavities. Poor oral hygiene habits can also make it easier for bacteria to thrive in your mouth, increasing your risk of cavities. Some medical conditions, such as dry mouth and acid reflux, can also contribute to the formation of cavities. Additionally, genetic factors such as the quality of your tooth enamel or teeth alignment can also play a role.

Prevention of Cavities

The good news is that cavities are preventable. Here are some tips on how to keep your teeth safe.

  • Brush your teeth daily with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss daily to remove any food particles stuck between your teeth.
  • Cut down on sugary and starchy foods.
  • Drink plenty of water, especially after meals.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for oral check-ups and dental cleanings.

Treatment of Cavities

If you do end up with a cavity, don't panic. Your dentist can help. The treatment for cavities depends on the severity and location of the cavity. Small cavities can usually be filled with a tooth-colored resin material. If the cavity is too large, a dental crown may be necessary to prevent further damage. In severe cases where the cavity has reached the tooth pulp, a root canal may be required.

Cavities may seem like a common issue, but if left untreated, they can cause serious damage to your teeth. The good news is that with good oral hygiene habits and regular dental check-ups, cavities are preventable. Remember to brush and floss regularly, cut down on sugary foods, and visit your dentist for check-ups. If you do develop a cavity, don't hesitate to seek help from your dentist.

Learn more from a dentist near you like those at Rabel Family Dentistry.