What causes decay? When foods with carbohydrates like bread, cereal, milk, soda, fruit, cake, or candy stay on your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth turn them into acids. The bacteria, acid, food debris, and your saliva combine to form plaque, which clings to the teeth. The acids in plaque dissolve the enamel, creating holes called cavities.
Who Gets Cavities?
Many people think only children get cavities, but changes in your mouthas you age make them an adult problem, too. As you get older, your gums pull away from your teeth. They can also pull away because of gum disease. This exposes the roots of your teeth to plaque. And if you eat a lot of sugary or high-carb foods, you’re more likely to get cavities.
Older adults sometimes get decay around the edges of fillings. Seniors often have a lot of dental work because they didn't get fluoride or good oral care when they were kids. Over the years, these fillings can weaken teeth and break. Bacteria gather in the gaps and cause decay.
How Do I Know If I Have One?
Your dentist finds cavities during a regular dental checkup. He’ll probe your teeth, looking for soft spots, or use X-rays to check between your teeth.
If you’ve had a cavity for a while, you might get a toothache, especially after you eat or drink something sweet, hot, or cold. Sometimes you can see pits or holes in your teeth.
How Are They Treated?
Treatment depends on how bad the cavity is. Most often, a decayed portion of your tooth is cleaned and replaced with a porcelain or a composite resin. These materials are safe.
However if a cavity gets too big more complex treatments will be required to save a tooth. Come in for a free consultation and book your appointment today.