Cavities are small holes in the teeth that form as a result of decay. During the decay process, the outer layers of the teeth, known as enamel and dentin, are worn away, leaving eroded areas called cavities.
Causes of Cavities
Cavities are caused by a buildup of bacteria, food particles and saliva which combine to form dental plaque, a film that coats the teeth. Since plaque is acidic, it can attack the tooth enamel, and then the dentin, causing decay which results in cavities. Regular tooth cleaning helps keep plaque away, but decay often occurs in the back teeth which are harder to clean.
Symptoms of Cavities
Symptoms of cavities vary depending on their severity and location. Many people do not experience any symptoms when decay is just beginning. As decay progresses, however, patients may experience symptoms which include:
- Tooth pain
- Tooth sensitivity
- Pain while eating or drinking certain foods or beverages
- Visible holes in the teeth
Treatment of Cavities
Treatment for cavities depends on the severity of the condition, which is why it is important to seek medical attention as early as possible. Treatment options may include the following:
- Fluoride treatments: Fluoride can be used in the form of solution, gel, foam, or varnish in dental treatments to improve the strength of a patient’s teeth as well as improve oral health. Fluoride can be beneficial for reducing the risk of cavities.
- Fillings: A filling made out of resin or composite is applied to a tooth that contains a cavity to correct the damage done by tooth decay. Placing a filling in a compromised tooth will prevent the bacteria causing the cavity from spreading, reducing further decay.
- Crowns: Typically made out of metal or porcelain, crowns are used when a majority of the tooth is affected by the cavity, and severe tooth damage has already occurred.
- Root canal: When the pulp of a tooth becomes severely damaged or infected due to a cavity, a root canal, which inserts filling to the inside of the tooth can help.
Practicing good oral health hygiene is extremely important in preventing cavities. Brushing and flossing the teeth at least twice daily is recommended.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Cavities Go Away on Their Own?
Cavities may only go away on their own when they are in the early stages of development. A cavity in its early stages may be reversed by brushing the teeth several times a day with fluoride toothpaste.
No matter how often you brush or floss, even with a great oral routine, cavities cannot always be prevented. If the cavity has already affected the tooth for a while, professional dental treatment is recommended.
How Series Is A Tooth Cavity?
If a patient has a tooth cavity in its early stages, usually there are no symptoms felt at all. However, if you begin to experience tooth sensitivity, tooth pain, swelling in or around the mouth, or difficulty chewing, this can be a sign your tooth cavity is becoming serious and is in need of professional dental attention.
When Will I Need a Tooth Extraction for Cavity Treatment?
When a tooth is severely decayed, fillings, crowns, and root canals may not be enough to save the tooth. If this is the case, a tooth extraction may be needed.
A tooth extraction is a dental procedure that involves the removal of a tooth. When it comes to cavities, this procedure may only be needed if the patient has the following:
- Severe cavities
- A fractured tooth
- An impacted tooth
- Crowded teeth
- Severe gum disease
- Dental injury
What Happens When Cavities Are Left Untreated?
When left untreated, cavities can cause pain and infections that can heavily impact the daily life of a patient. With pain, swelling, and aching that can come from an infected tooth, simple tasks such as eating, drinking, or talking may be extremely difficult. Untreated cavities may also lead to abscesses under the gums, which have the potential to spread to other parts of the body.
To prevent this, we recommend scheduling routine visits with Dr. Daniil Payziyev or Dr. Joseph Osipow to monitor the health of your teeth.
Schedule a Consultation for Dental Treatment in New York, NY
To schedule a consultation for cavity dental treatment at Dentistry on Park, click here or call 347.448.4484.