1 in 5 Americans have untreated cavities. Cavities are a form of decay that damage the hard outer layer known as enamel. As a result, they leave small holes in your teeth. Any and everyone of all ages can fall victim to cavities, even infants. Factors include how well you take care of your teeth, what types of food and beverages you consume, and your family’s dental history.
You are at higher risk for cavity formation if you suffer from dry mouth or insufficient saliva production. This is often accompanied by bad breath as well. Medications, frequent alcohol consumption and tobacco usage puts you more at risk for dry mouth.
Where Do Cavities Form?
Cavities commonly form when sugary, starchy foods feed the bacteria that linger on the surface of your teeth. You may have heard the term plaque during your most recent visit to the dentist. Plaque is the soft sticky film that builds up on your teeth and contains millions of bacteria. These bacteria produce acids that break down your enamel. One of the most common areas for cavities to form is within the grooves of your molars, between teeth, and around the gum line. These are all harder areas to clean and get rid of plaque.
Signs You May Have a Cavity
- Tooth sensitivity when consuming hot or cold food/beverages
- Tooth pain while you sleep
- Pain when you bite down
- Dark stains
- Small holes
- Soft areas on your teeth
Preventing cavities is not as hard as you think. Follow these basic rules for cavity prevention:
- Limit consumption of candies and sweets
- Brush twice a day
- Floss once a day
- Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash
- Go to routine dental checkups and cleanings every 6 months
- Consider dental sealants (ask your local dentist)
- Use products with Flouride
Try to detect cavities as soon as they arise. The sooner the better for treatment. The cost of filling a small cavity now will save you time and money in the long run. It will also prevent more pain from forming as the cavity worsens. If it does get worse then you may need to have a root canal. Root canals are a more invasive treatment process and can cost you a fortune. Worst case scenario, you may need to have a tooth taken out and replaced. And tooth replacement is not as easy as you may think it is.
Boise Family Dentistry
The best thing you can do for your teeth is to brush, floss, and perform any kind of preventative cavity care. Be sure to visit Tree City Family Dental for 6-month cleanings, we can also help you pinpoint and treat cavities too. Give us a call to set up an exam with our skilled team of dental care professionals. Together we can help make your smile healthy, beautiful, and cavity-free!