Cavities are also known as tooth decay. In short, it is a hole that forms either over the flat surface of your tooth or at the root of the teeth. They usually start off small and enlarge if they are left untreated. It is difficult to know whether one has a cavity when it begins to form as you don’t not feel the symptoms until they start getting worse. They can be detected at an early stage if regular dental check ups are undergone. Anyone can develop cavities, even babies. It all depends on how a person takes care of their teeth.
Symptoms of cavities
The following are known symptoms of tooth decay. These depend on the severity of the decay.
- A noticeable hole in your teeth
- Tooth pain
- Sensitive tooth
- Noticeable black or white staining on teeth
Causes of tooth decay
There are several causes of tooth decay. The formation of cavities would usually start off with the loss of tooth mineral which eventually leads to the surface of the tooth being eaten through to form a hole.
One of the common causes of tooth decay is through the consumption of sugary foods and beverages. The sugar weakens the enamel (the glossy layer that covers the crown of the tooth) which makes it more susceptible to tooth decay.
Other causes of tooth decay would include;
Dry mouth: Plaque buildup is reduced thanks to saliva as help wash from the surface of our teeth
Poor Oral Hygiene: Neglecting basic mouth hygiene, such as brushing your teeth regularly, would cause plaque build up
Eating and drinking: As mentioned earlier, sugary foods may cause tooth decay. To add on to this, carbohydrates have a tendency to remain on your teeth, which contributes to the formation of cavities. Brushing your teeth regularly will help eliminate food particles from your teeth
Bacteria and Acid: Bacteria lives in your mouth. When they consume the food particles, it forms acid, which eats away at a layer of your tooth.
How to prevent tooth decay
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. There several steps that you could take to avoid the formation of cavities. These measures would include:
- Brushing your teeth regularly: Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is necessary to keep the plaque away! Also choose your toothbrush wisely. Select one which is able to brush all surfaces of your teeth. If you have sensitive gums, you might want to select on with a soft brush to avoid bleeding. Choosing a toothbrush with a textured tongue cleaner would help reduce oral malodor.
- Selecting the right toothpaste: It is essential to look out if your toothpaste contains fluoride. You may want to look out for the ADA seal of approval, which confirms that the toothpastes contains fluoride, active ingredients that improves mouth hygiene, and has been tested and confirmed to be safe and effective.
- Floss and rinse: Flossing and rinsing your mouth daily will help reduce plaque build up. Flossing would remove tiny food particles stuck between your teeth. And rinsing your mouth with mouthwash or simply water after eating will protect your teeth from plaque build-up
- Regular checkups: This is something that people tend to neglect. It is necessary to have regular checkups with your dentist to remain informed about your oral hygiene. Clinics near Kuala Lumpur such as the Mont Kiara dental clinic, Hibari clinic, offers several dental services and treatments such as dental implants or teeth whitening.