A tooth cavity is essentially a permanently damaged area that becomes a small opening in your tooth, much like a hole. Also known as tooth decay or cavities, it’s often caused by a combination of factors such as poor oral hygiene or a sugary diet. It’s one of the world’s most common oral health problems and is usually found in children and teenagers. Anyone is at risk of getting a cavity, but there are ways to resolve the issue before it becomes a problem.
What Causes a Cavity?
Cavities are essentially caused by tooth decay, a process that naturally occurs over time. It’s often caused by plaque forming on your teeth, eventually hardening under or above the gum line into calculus or tartar. This tartar makes plaque even more difficult to remove as it creates a barrier that protects the bacteria as it decays your teeth.
If this plaque is left untreated, it will eventually remove minerals in your teeth’s outer enamel. This causes small openings in your enamel which begins the first stage of a cavity. The bacteria and acid then reach the next layer of your teeth known as dentin, a soft layer that is less resistant to acid. Once this happens, tooth decay develops at an accelerated rate which eventually reaches your inner tooth material that contains nerves and blood vessels. This causes it to become swollen and irritated, eventually causing pain and discomfort.
Symptoms of a Tooth Cavity
People that experience a tooth cavity often have the following symptoms:
- Toothaches and pain that occurs with no easy to identify cause
- Tooth sensitivity when drinking hot or cold liquids, leading to sharp pains
- Visible holes in teeth
- Brown, black or white stains on teeth
- Pain when biting down on something
If you experience these symptoms, contact Ustick Dental to make an appointment as soon as possible by calling (208) 375-8720.
Complications of a Tooth Cavity
If left untreated, a tooth cavity can lead to the following issues:
- Pain in the mouth
- Tooth abscess
- Swelling around the teeth
- Broken teeth
- Problems chewing
- Tooth loss
Once the cavities get worse, it can lead to nutritional problems caused by pain while eating or a loss of self-esteem and confidence as a result of your appearance changing. In some cases, a tooth abscess (a pocket of pus caused by bacterial infections) can lead to life-threatening conditions.
Treatments for a Tooth Cavity
The most common ways to treat a cavity are to use fillings, crowns, root canals or tooth extractions. Extractions are typically only used in severe situations where the tooth cannot be restored and has to be removed to prevent further issues.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to take good care of your teeth. This involves brushing at least twice daily, flossing, using a fluoride mouthwash. It’s also imperative to schedule and keep regular dental appointments to monitor the condition of your teeth and to receive a deep clean to remove plaque.
Contact Ustick Dental to Treat Cavities
If you’re concerned about your tooth cavity or are unsure if you have one or not, then our dental experts at Ustick Dental would be more than happy to assist you. Whether it’s examining your teeth for a cavity or helping you treat it, we’re more than capable of helping you resolve your tooth cavity and offering you advice on how to prevent it from happening in the future. Submit a “Request An Appointment” form via our Contact page or call us as soon as possible at (208) 375 8720.