Oral Health and Cavities

Most of us have had a cavity at some point in our lives and often times it’s very painful.  But sometimes it’s not painful at all and you are surprised to hear your Miami dentist tell you there’s a cavity that needs to be filled.  What exactly is a cavity, how can you prevent them and what do you do once you know you have one?

Cavities are the result of tooth decay, or simply put, the destruction of a tooth, according to Web MD.  Tooth decay can affect the outside of the tooth as well as the inside of the tooth.  Many factors play into the amount of cavities you may have in your lifetime including genetics, how often you clean your teeth, what you use to clean your mouth and how often you visit your dentist.

There’s a variety of foods that can contribute to tooth decay including breads, cereals, milk, fruit, and most importantly, sugary foods such as soda and candy.  Bacteria which live in your mouth will feed off of these foods particularly and eventually lead to decay if oral care is not taken seriously.

You may not know immediately that a tooth is starting to decay.  This is why visiting the dentist regularly is so important.  Their trained eye can spot decay before it gets serious or painful.  X-rays can also be taken to see if early decay is present.  In the advanced stages of a cavity pain will arise and certain foods can trigger intense, shooting pains resulting in a prolonged toothache.

Luckily, there are many effective treatments for cavities these days.  If the decay isn’t too serious a filling can be placed in the area where the decay occurred.  Fillings can be made of silver alloy, porcelain, gold or a composite resin.  The American Dental Association deems this material safe for fillings.  If the decay is more extensive, crowns are used to replace the area.  The weakened area of the tooth is removed then the crown is put on top and is generally made out of gold, porcelain, or some metal parts.

If you suspect you have a cavity, visit your dentist as quickly as you can and continue a quality oral health care routine.  The sooner you get a cavity looked at, the less likely it is to become a major, painful problem.


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