WHAT IS A CAVITY?
Dental cavities (also called “dental caries”) occur when we feed the natural, normal, and healthy bacteria that reside in mouths, sugars and carbohydrates. Food debris, acid, bacteria, and saliva work in tandem to form plaque. It is when this plaque is not removed from your teeth with proper brushing and flossing that the destructive process begins. Slowly, the bacteria in the plaque release an acid byproduct that begins to destroy the hard enamel structure of the tooth. This exposes the softer dentin layer underneath and causes the sensitivity that is common with cavities. Ultimately, this leaves a hole in your tooth called a “cavity.”
Dental caries can range in size and severity. Sometimes, patients will feel sensitivity to hot and cold or when they eat something sweet. Other times, patients will feel nothing at all.It is always best to treat this disease process before it progresses and while the cavity is small.
If the disease process is not stopped, there is a risk of the decay moving deeper into the tooth, which could lead to bigger and more expensive problems like a root canal, crown, or in severe cases, an extraction. In most cases, cavities can be resolved with a very conservative filling before excessive damage occurs.
Cavities can be thought of as an infection or disease within a tooth. As you may know, having active infection or disease in a tooth can actually lead to systemic concerns if that infection enters the blood stream.That is why, here at Dental City, we help determine the WHY behind your cavities and help you manage your exposure to cavity formation. If we can address the why and identify the cause of your cavities, then we can partner with you in preventing treatment in the future!