All You Need to Know About Tooth Cavities

Cartoon of a lady at the dentist getting her teeth cleaned.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

We all know that we have to brush and floss our teeth to prevent cavities. But what exactly are tooth cavities? Let’s take a look at what causes cavities, how they form, and how you can treat and prevent them.

What is a Tooth Cavity?

When bacteria form on the surface of your teeth, they feed on sugar and carbohydrates and then release an acid that wears down tooth enamel. As plaque and bacteria build up over time, they begin to harden. This can become difficult to clean and will eventually wear down enamel to the point where it forms a small, permanent hole of decay, also known as a tooth cavity. Cavities are usually brown or black in color, and often come with symptoms like increased sensitivity, pain, and bad breath.

How are cavities treated?

If you think that you have a cavity, the best thing to do is to see your dentist right away. Dr. Molta or Dr. Moore will be able to remove the cavity in the tooth and replace it with a filling made with a tooth-colored material to prevent further damage. When you visit Springs Village Dentistry for preventive care every six months, our hygienists can scrape the plaque and tartar from your teeth that even a rigorous at-home hygiene routine can’t remove. Another benefit of regular visits is that we can catch potential cavities in their early stages, before you are even able to see them.

What Happens if I Don’t Treat a Cavity?

If a cavity is left untreated, the infection and decay will spread deeper into your tooth, eventually making its way down to the pulp deep in your tooth. If it’s caught in time, we can perform a root canal to flush out the infection and salvage what’s left of your tooth. You most likely will need a crown or cap placed over your tooth to protect it. If it’s too late, you might run the risk of losing your tooth altogether.

How can I prevent cavities?

One of the best ways to handle cavities is to avoid developing them altogether. The most effective way to ward off cavities is to brush and floss your teeth diligently at least twice a day. Make sure you use a toothpaste with fluoride. It’s also important to eat a balanced diet that is full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water.

Cavity Treatment in Holly Springs, NC

Springs Village Dentistry is here to help you and your family prevent cavities and tooth decay. We offer in-office fluoride treatments along with dental sealants to keep food particles out of the deep grooves in your molars. Although these are excellent treatments for kids, they often provide benefits for adults too! Contact us today for cavity prevention or treatment by clicking the contact link below.

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