As one of the most common oral health issues in the U.S., our Lake Anna, VA dentists have seen more cavities than they can count. If you’ve ever felt the painful effects of an unfilled cavity, you understand that taking extra steps to prevent another one from occurring is worth the effort. Although some people have naturally acidic mouths that put them at a higher risk of cavities, most can practice general preventative techniques to fight cavities effectively. Save on dental treatments and avoid pain by learning more about how cavities occur and how to prevent them.
The Effects of Cavities on your Dental Health
Essentially, cavities are a small hole in the bone of your tooth which can deepen into the root if they are untreated. They are often caused by food particles and bacteria getting stuck between teeth and eating away at tooth enamel. Once the enamel is damaged, more bacteria can become trapped in area, causing a small hole to appear.
Although a brand new cavity isn’t immediately detrimental to your dental health, over time they can worsen into a severely painful condition. Let’s take a look at some of the effects they can have on your oral health below:
- Small Specks on Teeth: When a cavity begins to form, it eventually grows to a size that is visible while brushing. We recommend checking on your molars and backs of your front teeth for these elusive black spots so that you can schedule an appointment with your dentist when the time comes.
- Sharp Pains While Eating: One of the effects of cavities is the development of a sharp pain in the mouth. Because they are really just canals that lead from your mouth to the root of your tooth, hot and cold sensations from foods you eat can cause extreme pain. If this is allowed to continue, a cavity can begin to cause headaches and migrates in addition to tooth pain.
- Tooth Decay: Cavities are essentially a type of tooth decay. As bacteria wears down your tooth and enters the tooth’s root, it can cause the tooth to die off. If this happens, a root canal will be needed to prevent further dental health issues. Without proper treatment, a cavity can go from a simple dental health problem to something much more severe.
Most Lake Anna, VA dentists agree that the best way to treat a cavity is to prevent it from happening in the first place. We firmly believe that brushing and flossing twice a day is necessary for good oral health. Using fluoride-enhanced toothpaste is currently believed to help prevent cavities from forming, and is recommended for adults and older children. We recommend avoiding sugary snacks like candies and sodas, while focusing your diet more on natural sugars like fruits and dark chocolate. Finally, regular trips to your dentist for bi-annual cleanings are recommended to prevent tough plaque from sticking to your teeth. If you’re ready to schedule a preventative cleaning or have a cavity that you believe needs to be filled, contact our Lake Anna dentists today at(540) 967-5800.