Cavities are caused by damage to areas on the hard surface of your teeth. These damages develop into tiny holes in the tooth and problematic openings. Cavities are otherwise called tooth decay, and are usually caused by a number of factors, including an excess of bacteria in your mouth, sipping sugary drinks, frequently eating sugary foods and not cleaning your teeth properly.
Cavities and tooth decay are some of the most common health problems. They’re incredibly common in children and teenagers due to the way that they consume an overwhelming amount of sugary foods. However, anyone who has teeth has the ability to get cavities, regardless of their age.
If cavities remain untreated, they will become larger and cause deeper holes in your teeth. They can also lead to severe toothaches, gum infections and tooth loss. Thus, it is essential to visit the dentist on a regular basis and to implement a consistent brushing routine. Ensuring that you practice flossing habits will ensure that you remain protected against cavities and tooth decay.
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The signs and symptoms of tooth decay vary. These symptoms depend on the extent of the damage and the location of the tooth. Whenever a cavity is just starting to form, you may not experience any symptoms at all. As the decay becomes more severe, it can cause signs and symptoms including the following:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking
- Visible holes in your teeth
- Brown, black or white staining on the surface area of your teeth
- Pain when biting.
Cavities result due to tooth decay. Tooth decay is a process that will occur over a period of time. Here is how tooth decay can develop:
- Plaque formation. Dental plaque is a sticky film that coats your teeth. It occurs due to eating an abundance of sugars and starches. If you do not clean your teeth well, plague will form more quickly and easily. When sugars and starches are not cleaned off correctly, bacteria can quickly feed on these and begin to form plaque. Plaque that remains on your teeth can easily harden under your teeth or above your gum line and become calculus. Tartar makes plaque harder to remove and creates a shield for bacteria to feed.
- Plaque attacks. The acids contained in plaque remove minerals from your tooth’s enamel. This erosion will result in tiny openings in the enamel. Once areas of your enamel have worn away, the bacteria can reach the inner layer of your teeth, called dentin. This layer of tooth is far softer than your outer enamel and thus, it is far less resistant to any acid. Dentin also contains tiny tubes that communicate with your tooth’s nerves.
- Destruction. As tooth decay begins to develop, bacteria and acid will continue their journey of corrosion through your teeth. The decay will then move onto the inner tooth, otherwise known as the pulp, that contains numerous blood vessels. The pulp can become vastly swollen and irritated due to bacterial infection.
The Five Main Causes of Tooth Decay
Everyone who has teeth has the potential to get cavities. However, the following factors can increase the risk of having tooth decay:
- Tooth location. Decay will occur in your molars and premolars. These teeth contain an abundance of pits. grooves and crannies for bacteria to hide in. There are numerous roots in these teeth that can collect particles. This makes these teeth harder to keep clean.
- Sugary foods and drinks. Sugary foods can cling to your teeth for a long period of time — such as ice cream, honey, milk, sugar, dried fruit, cake, soda, cookies, hard candy and mints, chips, and dry cereals. All of these sugary foods are far more likely to cause tooth decay.
- Frequent snacking. Whenever you snack on sugary foods or sip sugary drinks, there are more bacteria that accumulate on your teeth. There are also more acids within these products that attack your teeth and eventually wear them down.
- Bedtime feeding. Whenever babies are given bedtime bottles filled with milk, these formulas are often filled with sugar. These sugar-laden beverages will remain on their teeth while they are sleeping which feeds decay-causing bacteria. This damage is often called baby bottle tooth decay.
- Inadequate brushing. If you do not clean your teeth on a regular basis, bacteria will accumulate more readily.
To conclude, this article has outlined the five main causes of tooth decay. These include inadequate brushing and the frequent consumption of sugary foods and drinks. I hope that you have found this article to be insightful and informative.
However, if you need further advice, you can contact a dental expert so they can provide more professional insights. If you don’t know where to find a dentist, search for terms like “dentist near me Los Angeles” on the internet and it should give you a list that you can reach out to
Thank you for reading.