Dental cavities, also known as tooth decay is one of the most common issues faced by all, but second only to the common cold. A dental cavity is a serious dental problem that affects the structure of the teeth and its roots.
How do cavities form?
Cavities are usually formed due to poor eating habits. When you consume foods that are rich in sugar or starch, the bacteria in your mouth convert these sugars into acids. These acids get deposited on the tooth and forms plaque. This plaque gradually deteriorates the enamel of your tooth, leading to a tiny hole in your tooth. Thus, diet plays a major role in cavity formation. Here are a few facts that you might not be aware of cavities – but you should know.
#1 Cavity begins with a tiny hole
Tooth cavity begins with a minute hole in the enamel of the tooth. As already stated, the minute hole is formed as a result of the bacteria eating up the enamel of the tooth. Once the tiny hole is formed, bacteria penetrate through it and reaches the center of the tooth. The bacteria then start deteriorating the dentin, which turns the dentin into a brown mush. To save the tooth, you can visit the dentist who can suggest you various restorative options based on the damage of your tooth.
#2 Sugar is not the only culprit
Many people believe that only sugary foods cause cavity formation. But a research has proved that if you consume any acidic food it can actually change the pH in your mouth, which can lead to cavity formation. Acidic food includes caffeinated drinks, soft drinks, energy drinks, coffee and tea. So think twice before becoming addicted to caffeine.
#3 Sugar-free gum is a great substitute
The fact is you cannot carry your toothbrush everywhere and brush your teeth after every meal. In such a situation, you can depend on sugar-free chewing gum. Especially, gums with xylitol is proven to protect your teeth against cavity formation. This is because xylitol fights in opposition to the cavity-causing bacteria and intercepts the formation of the cavity on teeth.
#4 Are you a snacks grazer? Then you’re more prone to dental cavities
Do you love snacks and you’re often snacking between your meals? Your snacks can certainly fill your stomach and satisfy your hunger for a short while, but the impact it leaves on your teeth last more than that. Every time you have snacks that contains sugar or carbohydrates, the bacteria feeds on it and produces acids. Having snacks constantly also doesn’t let your saliva bring the pH of your mouth into an alkaline, neutral state. This can increase the chance of plaque building up on the teeth. After eating snacks having a glass of water or brushing your teeth or chewing on sugar-free gums can help protect your teeth from cavity formation.
#5 Flossing is more important
Though we are aware that proper brushing is important to maintain a good oral health, we forget to understand the importance of flossing. That’s a huge mistake most of us do and that costs the life of our tooth. Flossing is as important as brushing that can help prevent tooth decay and cavities. The food we eat gets settled in between the teeth and the bacteria can feed on those pieces leading to formation of plaque. Only flossing can remove the food particles that gets settled between your teeth. You can floss daily, at morning or night, whatever time you are comfortable with. But do not skip this step.
#6 Dry mouth can lead to cavities
Your saliva is the best pH neutralizing agent that acts against tooth decay and cavities. Ensure that your mouth is not dry. Sip on water frequently and chew some sugar-free xylitol gums, which can increase your saliva secretion.
#7 Avoid over-brushing
Brushing too hard can actually damage your teeth’s enamel. Damage to your tooth enamel can ease up the penetration of bacteria into your teeth and make it more vulnerable to decay and cavities. Contact your dentist and learn the proper brushing angle and techniques for a more effective brushing.
#8 Cavities should not hurt initially
At an initial stage, cavities should not be painful. If you go in for regular dental checkups and your dentist can find out any forthcoming cavity and do a quick filling. Once cavities penetrate deep into your tooth’s root, they will start pressing your nerves and you will need a root canal treatment. If you don’t treat cavity at its early stage, tooth extraction is the only solution. After your tooth is extracted, your dentist might recommend a dental implant to restore your lost tooth.
If you’re worried that you have a cavity, wait no more! Book a consultation with Dr. Vivekpandian at MSR Dentistry, the best dental implant clinic in Chennai. They are among a few dental clinics offering various kinds of dental implant treatment like Zygoma implants and Guided implants in India.