Have you ever gone to the dentist and been told that you have a cavity? If so, you’re amongst the millions of Americans who have had a cavity at one time in their life. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
What Is a Cavity?
Cavities are what happens when you have tooth decay, which occurs when the enamel, the hard protective layer, of the tooth wears away and acids produced by bacteria attack the tooth. Cavities can create tiny holes or pits in your mouth and are a very common oral health issue. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to even more serious dental health issues.</P.
What Causes Cavities?
There are a number of factors that contribute to tooth decay. One of the biggest factors is a diet that’s high in carbohydrates and sugars. When you consume food and drinks such as soda, chips, or candy, the sugars are turned into acids by bacteria which feed on tooth enamel and weaken it so that those acids reach the more vulnerable parts of the tooth such as dentin which is much softer than enamel. Another cause of cavities is poor oral health.
What Is the Treatment for a Cavity?
The level of treatment for a cavity depends on how bad the tooth decay is. Often they are treated by removing the decay and filling it with silver alloy, porcelain, gold, or composite resin. If the cavity is worse and not much of the tooth remains once the decay is removed, your dentist will probably use a crown which is fitted over the tooth. If the cavity is really bad and the decay has reached the pulp of the tooth, you’ll probably need a root canal, which removes the blood vessels, nerve, and tissue along with the decay.
Can You Reverse the Effects of a Cavity?
First, it’s important that your diet is low in sugars and carbohydrates. Eating foods high in fiber and vitamins such as fruits and vegetables can help to wash away the food particles left in your mouth, strengthen your enamel, and increase saliva production in your mouth which remineralizes your teeth. Drinking water is also a great way to wash away any food particles and acids in your mouth. Chewing sugarless gum after you eat a meal can also help prevent cavities by increasing your salivary flow and reduce plaque formation. Finally, good oral health practices are vital to reversing cavities. By brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and using fluoride toothpaste, you can clear your mouth of food particles, acids, and bacteria, therefore preventing tooth decay and making your mouth a healthier place.
If you have any other questions about reversing the effects of a cavity, or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today!