Everyone has heard of cavities, whether through first-hand experience or just general knowledge. While we know that cavities are something we want to avoid, we are often unsure of the cause and the best ways to prevent them. By having a better understanding of the causes of cavities, you and your family are in a better position to prevent them. With a combination of at home and professional dental care from your Cary or Cornelius area dentistry practice, you can ensure that your teeth stay healthy and cavity-free.
Cavities occur when a part of the tooth has been damaged due to decay. Cavities can show up on multiple areas of the tooth.
Many people have heard that sugar causes cavities. While the amount of sugar we eat does need to be monitored, the relationship between sugar and cavities is a bit more complex than simply “causing them.” Our mouths naturally contain both good and bad bacteria. If sugar is left on the teeth or gums, the bacteria feed off it and expel an acidic waste that erodes the teeth and gums. When this acid remains on the teeth it will eventually cause a cavity.
There is a very important reason that we advise all of our patients to receive dental checkups every six months. This allows any potential problems to be detected early when they are most easily treated. During your appointment, a professional cleaning will be performed and each of your teeth will be evaluated for any potential signs of decay. X-rays are taken as needed during general checkups. In between check-ups, it is important to practice good oral hygiene habits home. Brush at least twice daily, floss each day, and remember to rinse after every meal.
The damage done by cavities is progressive. When they are caught early, we are able to treat them conservatively and preserve the natural tooth. This will help the teeth remain strong. When left untreated, cavities will continue to grow and can affect the inner portion of the tooth. These cavities can become infected, are often painful, and in some cases, lead to the need for extraction.
Let us help you and your family have a healthy mouth. Call us today to schedule a consultation.