Most people know that taking care of your teeth is important in order to maintain a healthy and attractive smile. Common problems that occur when you don’t practice good oral hygiene include tooth decay, gum disease, and cavities. The dreaded cavity is something that most people want to avoid, so it’s helpful to know what causes cavities and how to prevent them.
A cavity is a hole in your tooth resulting from decay. Bacteria are present in your mouth almost constantly, which combines with acids in your mouth to attack your gums and tooth enamel. When the outer protective layer of your teeth starts to break down and get eaten away, it leads to further decay and eventually forms cavities.
Acids and sugars from eating and drinking speed up the process of cavity formation. These items remain on your teeth long after you’ve finished consuming them, and they begin to attack your enamel. Some people are prone to cavities even more than others, such as those with weak tooth enamel.
The inner portions of your teeth are exposed by cavities, sometimes including your nerves. That’s one reason why cavities can cause toothache pain. In severe cases, procedures like root canals may be needed or even sometimes tooth extraction. More often, however, a simple filling can treat a cavity. A special material is placed into the hole to repair the damage to your tooth. The procedure requires basic anesthesia and can usually be completed in a single trip to the dentist.
Instead of having to deal the pain and hassles of repairing a cavity, you can avoid these issues by maintaining good oral hygiene. This includes brushing and flossing every day, limiting sugary snacks and drinks, and cleaning your mouth after indulging in those foods. It’s also important to visit your dentist regularly to keep watch for cavities and make sure that you’re doing everything you can to prevent them.