Even the most common dental issues can also cause further complications for your smile. Learn how to protect your smile from cavities!
A cavity is the most common dental problem that affects children and adults of all ages. Whether your general dentist has told you that you have a cavity or you are just trying to learn more about them, turn to your Kirkwood, MO dentist for the answers you need.
What is a cavity?
Often referred to as tooth decay, this problem causes holes to form in the enamel of your teeth. Cavities can range in sizes and can grow and become more severe if left untreated by your dentist.
What causes cavities?
A cavity forms when plaque forms on the teeth and isn’t properly removed through daily brushings. Sugar is the number-one culprit for causing cavities. Whenever you consume foods or drinks with sugar, the substance is converted into acid by the bacteria naturally growing in your mouth.
The acid is what eats away at healthy enamel. The more sugar you consume, the more acid attacks your beautiful smile undergoes. This will make you more susceptible to cavities.
What are the symptoms?
Unfortunately, not all cavities cause symptoms, so it can be difficult to know when there is a problem. That’s why it’s important to maintain those six-month visits to see your dentist, who can detect problems right away. Some signs that you may have a cavity include:
- Dental pain
- Tooth sensitivity
- A black stain on your tooth
- A hole in your tooth
If you don’t visit your dentist for cavity treatment, this can cause serious issues for your smile in the long run. Some complications that can occur as a result of ignoring or leaving your cavity untreated include:
- Chronic or severe dental pain
- An abscess (an infected pus-like pocket that grows around the tooth)
- Pain or problems chewing food
- An increased risk for a cracked or broken tooth
If you don’t seek treatment right away, the cavity could cause damage to the point that the problem might not be reversible and the tooth will need to be removed and replaced with a dental restoration like an implant or dental bridge.
Cavities don’t have to be a serious problem. By coming in for those six-month dental exams, you can protect your teeth from common, but potentially serious dental issues like decay and gum disease. If you are overdue for your next cleaning and exam, then it’s time to call your preventive dentist today.