You probably first heard the word cavities before you even lost your baby teeth. Dental cavities affect everyone from children to mature adults. Of course, by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth, you have a good chance of preventing the development of cavities. We practice and teach these healthy habits at Danville Family Dentistry. Plus, regular dental checkups will keep your pearly whites in top notch shape!

What is a Cavity?

Sugar isn’t the substance that causes cavities. It’s the bacteria left over from the sugar in your mouth that is the real troublemaker. You might think that sugar bacteria is the only thing that creates cavities, but there are many other ways tooth decay can develop.

Debris from sugar and other foods like cereal, bread, and even milk hang around in your mouth after you’re finished eating. The bacteria, in addition to saliva and food debris, begin to form plaque. When the plaque sits on a tooth, it starts to dissolve the tooth enamel which causes a hole, or cavity, in the tooth. That is the exact reason why dental professional encourage everyone to brush their teeth after eating.

Who is Most Likely to Get a Cavity?

Anyone can get a cavity, from infants to the elderly. As we age, and our bodies go through changes, and so does our mouth. Our gums naturally begin pulling away from our teeth as we get older.However, gum disease can also make our gums pull away from our teeth. As our gums recede, the roots of our teeth are exposedto more plaque and bacteria.

If you have an overzealous sweet tooth, you mayget cavitiesmore often than others. Remember, it’s the bacteria in sugarand sugary foods/drinks that can cause cavities.

Sometimes older adults develop tooth decay around the outsides of fillings. Additionally, seniors may need extra dental care if they weren’t given proper treatment when they were younger.

How to Prevent Cavities

We love hearing this question in our office. At Danville Family Dentistry, we’re always excited to share our knowledge. We’re going to tell you exactly what you need to do to prevent cavities.

  • It’s very important to come see us for regular check-ups!
  • Use a toothpaste and mouth rinse that has fluoride in it, and use it several times a day. Don’t rinse your mouth with water afterward.
  • Brush twice a day and use floss to break up and remove bacteria from your mouth, teeth, and gums.
  • Limit sugary sweets in your diet. If there is no bacteria in your mouth, you won’t have to worry about getting a cavity.
  • Drink lots of water and stay hydrated to limit the exposure of acid on your teeth.

If cavities are left untreated, it could lead to severe issues like infection or total loss of a tooth altogether.

Signs and Symptoms of Cavities

  • Pain while drinking or eating, especially hot, cold, or sweet things
  • Pain while eating or biting down
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Holes that are visible in a tooth
  • Staining on the surface of a tooth, or black/brown spots

At first, you may not feel any pain or have any indication of a cavity. Once you begin to feel these symptoms, the cavity has already been formed. As the decay increases, so will the discomfort.

The best way to avoid cavities starts with proper oral health. If you’re feeling pain or if you need a check-up, we help. Call us at 317-745-4400 and let Danville Family Dentistry help you keep your teeth cavity-free.

Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposesonly. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.