We all know the word “cavity” whether we’ve had one or not. No one likes them, but do we really understand why they happen and how to prevent them?
What is a cavity?
Simply put, a cavity is an area of the tooth that has eroded or broken down and decay is taking place. This creates a hole that can get bigger and bigger over time if left untreated.
Why do cavities appear?
Decaying of the tooth is caused by plaque build-up over time. Plaque is a sticky type of film that forms on top of a tooth. When left for long periods of time, the plaque can cause rotting and result in a cavity. Left untreated, a cavity can create a hole in the tooth and expose nerve endings which can cause pain. This is why cavities often get filled once they are discovered. A cavity can also lead to the need for a root canal or tooth loss if left untreated.
How can you prevent a cavity?
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Try to get in every crevice of the mouth by brushing in circular motions
- Don’t forget to brush your gums lightly
- Remember to floss once a day
- Limit the number of sugary drinks and foods you consume
- Show up to your annual dentist appointments