Cavities are holes in your teeth resulting from tooth decay. Cavities typically occur in older adults, teenagers, and children although everyone is prone to have them regardless of age. They commonly cause tooth loss in young individuals. They develop due to a blend of factors including oral bacteria, frequent snacking, and sugary foods /beverages. If untreated, they become larger and affect the teeth's deeper layers. They can also lead to infection and severe toothache. Regular visits to your dentist and maintaining good flossing and brushing habits help prevent cavities.
Types of Cavities
These cavities commonly affect adults and children.
As you age, your gums recede, leaving parts of your tooth root bare. As a result, the exposed areas decay easily because you no longer have enamel to cover your tooth roots.
Decay can develop around existing crowns and fillings. This occurs since these areas tend to accumulate plaque, which could ultimately result in decay.
The symptoms of cavities differ depending on the location and extent. When a cavity is in its initial stages, you may not experience any symptoms. However, your dentist may inform you that decay has begun and will recommend steps to prevent it from worsening. Cavities develop below your tooth's surface where you cannot see them. The best way to spot and treat them involves regular dental visits. As the decay increases in size, it may produce symptoms such as:
- Tooth pain particularly after having hot, sweet, or cold beverages and foods
- Visible holes or pits in your teeth. Cavities on your front teeth are the easiest to spot and will appear like black or brown spots. Cavities that exist in other parts of your mouth are frequently not noticeable without undergoing an X-ray
- Tooth sensitivity
- Pain when biting down
- Pus around your tooth particularly when you press your gums
Treatment of Cavities
Cavity treatment depends on the severity and your situation. Various treatment options exist including:
Dentists install fillings by eliminating the decayed areas and replacing them with various materials such as silver and porcelain. Numerous dentists consider gold and silver alloy to be more durable than resin or porcelain. However, these materials are rather visible hence; dentists normally place them on your back teeth.
Caps or Crowns
Dentist will use this option if the decay is extensive, leaving a weakened tooth. With this option, your dentist will remove the weakened or decayed area and fit a crown over the remaining tooth. Crowns are typically made of porcelain, gold, or porcelain joined to metal.