Lovers of candy and sugary drinks may know about cavities, but do you know just what they are? Why do they happen? How cavities are not just for kids? Keep reading to find out more!
How Do Cavities Happen?
A cavity is a hole in teeth caused by tooth decay. These holes form when your natural oral or exogenous acid (such as from food you eat) erodes the enamel, which is the hard, protective outer layer of teeth. Anyone can get a cavity and, in fact, 80% of Americans will have had a cavity sometime in their life before their mid-30s!
Types Of Cavities
Some common types of cavities include:
- Smooth Surface: A gradual cavity that slowly dissolves tooth enamel. This can be caused by a lack of flossing and is typically seen forming in the spaces between teeth.
- Pit and Fissure Decay: This type of cavity forms in the areas of our molars and premolars, the teeth primarily associated with chewing. This decay usually occurs when teeth are improperly brushed or poorly rinsed, with food and bacteria remaining in the grooves of our chewing teeth.
- Root Decay: This cavity can have the most disastrous results for oral health as it can also affect the gums. It’s caused by gum recession which can happen due to age and genetics, while also being caused by poor oral hygiene (noticing a pattern yet?).
How Are Cavities Treated?
If you’ve noticed the pattern with the causes of some of the common cavities, then you may already know one of the answers: Proper oral hygiene! Brushing your teeth and flossing them daily, along with an oral rinse can help tremendously. The goal is to properly eradicate harmful bacteria in the mouth that can remain after eating. There are a lot of nooks and crannies in between teeth, behind the gums, etc., so it’s important to be diligent!
Other treatments require a dentist. From prescription toothpaste and mouthwash to dental fillings, if the hole formed requires it, and even root canal therapy, if the tooth decay is advanced enough. In rare cases, you may be recommended for tooth extraction.
Worried about your oral health? Can’t remember the last time you flossed? Don’t worry! At Dentistry On Park, we’ve got your back! And your mouth! Call us to see how we can help at 212-570-6060!