What are cavities, and why do they matter?

Composite Dental Fillings in Houston Texas

What are cavities, and why do they matter?

Cavities are one of the world’s most common health problem. They are particularly common in children, teenagers, and the elderly, though anyone’s teeth can develop them, even babies.

But what are cavities, and why do we try to prevent them? Let’s take a look at just what a cavity is, what causes them, and the serious problems that they can lead to.

What Is a Cavity?

A cavity in anything is a recess in any surface, such as a cave. In a tooth, it’s a hole in the enamel, of varying depth. As a rule of thumb, the deeper a cavity goes, the larger the opening is likely to be.

How Can We Prevent Cavities?

As any Houston Dentist will tell you, brushing and flossing your teeth thoroughly, twice a day, is the best way to prevent cavities.

What Causes Cavities?

Bacteria are everywhere, and they thrive in the moist, warm environment of your mouth. When they encounter sugars or starches that are left on your teeth after eating or drinking, they produce acids that damage your tooth’s enamel.

If there’s enough damage at one spot, a cavity forms. At first, there may be no symptoms at all, but as they get larger, they can cause:

  • Stains
  • Visible holes
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Pain when you bite down
  • Pain when you eat something hot, cold, or sweet
  • Toothache
  • Abscess (infection)

It’s entirely possible that you won’t notice a cavity at all. That’s why it’s important to visit Sinada Dental in Houston regularly, so they can be detected and treated before they become a larger problem.

What Happens When Cavities Go Untreated?

If cavities aren’t treated, they get larger and go deeper. Your tooth’s enamel, the shiny white part, does more than look pretty. It protects the porous pulp inside from the acids that form. When the cavity gets deep enough, those acids attack the nerve at the center of the tooth, causing a toothache. Without treatment, the tooth will eventually fall out.

How Are Cavities Treated?

Cavities are treated by filling them with something that will keep bacteria out. Gold and amalgam were once common, but modern dentistry often uses a composite resin today. These look like the surrounding enamel, making them difficult to see.  So if you think you have a cavity, contact Sinada Dental and let us treat your cavity early on.

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