It is important to have your teeth examined regularly to catch cavities before they cause irreversible damage. Cavities take time to develop, so every six months, or even annual, appointments will catch cavities while they are fixable. Even though cavities take a while to develop, do not wait until you have a toothache to see your dentist. Once a cavity is causing pain, it will be harder and more expensive to fix.
Dental Check-ups Are Important in Fighting Cavities
When you move to a new location or if you do not have a regular dentist, take the time now to find the Best Family Dentists near you. Then, call each one or visit their website to choose the one who best meets your needs. Then make appointments for family members to have a dental checkup. Check to see if this dental clinic has the dental services your family members are likely to need. These services might include:
- General dentistry
- Dental surgery
- Treatments to straighten teeth such as Clear Correct and Invisalign
- Juvederm and Botox services
- Sleep Apnea and other dental related treatments
Then, once you have a dentist, visit them for dental exams and problems that you may have with your teeth or gums. Having cavities found and repaired is important. But, a good dentist can help patients prevent cavities, fix broken teeth, and straighten crooked teeth. They can treat gum disease and replace missing teeth.
What Factors Influence the Formation of a Cavity?
A cavity is a damage to a tooth caused by untreated tooth decay. This can be caused by not brushing, eating too much sugar, and other factors.
- The first stage of a cavity is the demineralization of the enamel or outer layer of the tooth. It can be caused by repeated exposure to acids from foods.
- If the demineralization continues, the enamel is breached, and decay of the tooth will reach tooth dentin where holes or dental carries will form. The dentin is soft tissue under the enamel. It is sensitive and pain will result.
- Pulp is the part of the tooth beneath the dentin that contains nerves and blood vessels. When the cavity reaches this pulp, the decay will speed up, causing pain, inflammation, and swelling. At this point, treatment is badly needed and a root canal might be part of the treatment.
- An abscess might happen if the cavity is allowed to progress to beneath the tooth pulp. Bacteria enter the cavity and cause an infection and pockets of puss beneath the affected tooth. This condition is painful and requires quick treatment and even removal of the tooth in some cases.
How Long Do Cavities Take To form?
The time it takes for a cavity to form and become serious is influenced by several factors. Some of these factors include:
- The levels of acid in the mouth
- How often the mouth is exposed to acids
- How healthy the tooth enamel is and how thick it is
- The location of the cavity
- The oral hygiene habits or the person
How Can You Prevent or Slow Cavity Formation?
There are ways to slow the formation of cavities.
- Limit your sugar and starchy food intake
- Brush your teeth often with toothpaste that includes fluoride
- Floss every day to clean the area between teeth
- Make sure to have regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings
Remember, once a cavity has formed, it will not reverse but must be treated by a dentist. Small cavities are easier to treat than large ones, so act now to reduce the seriousness of tooth decay problems.