How Do You Get Cavities And Ways To Prevent Them?

How Do You Get Cavities And Ways To Prevent Them?

Apr 13, 2022

Cavities and tooth decay are among the most common global dental issues. If you don’t treat cavities on time, they can lead to further complications such as decay, oral infections, severe tooth toothache, loose teeth, and tooth loss. Generally, preventive dentistry such as good oral care, routine dental checkups, cleaning, fluoride treatment, and dental sealants are your best protection against tooth decay and cavities.

Unfortunately, despite your best intentions, there is still a risk that you’ll develop a cavity at some point in your life. According to the CDC, approximately 90% of adults aged 20 and above have had one or more cavities.

Causes of Cavities

Generally, cavities don’t develop in a day; it’s a process that happens over time. Common causes of cavities include:

  • Poor dental hygiene

Poor dental hygiene is the key reason behind cavities and tooth decay. According to experts, you should brush at least twice daily and floss once daily. Brushing and flossing help remove food particles and other debris trapped on the teeth and along the gum line.

If not eliminated, this debris mixes with bacteria in the mouth to form plaque. Plaque hardens to form tartar, a hard brown substance that sticks on the teeth. If not eliminated, these substances begin to attack the tooth’s enamel and eventually lead to cavities, decay, and gum disease.

With time, bacteria and plaque continue to eat up the teeth, moving towards the inner parts of the teeth. Eventually, the infection attacks the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels, causing severe symptoms such as pain, swelling, and abscesses. Over time, the infection can spread to surrounding teeth, jawbone, gums, and other body parts.

  • Dental trauma

When a tooth is chipped, broken, or cracked, bacteria and plaque and bacteria can find their way into the tooth, infecting the tooth’s pulp and causing tooth decay. Dental trauma can be caused by sports injuries, bruxism, and more. To prevent this, ensure you find the proper treatment if you’ve experienced any dental damage. Your dentist can use procedures such as dental bonding, fillings, and crowns to repair the damage.

  • Poor dietary habits

Certain foods can increase your risk of cavities and tooth decay. Patients who consume a diet high in acidic, sugary, and sticky items have a higher risk of cavities. They tend to stick on the tooth and are hard to brush off, causing decay.

Sugary foods encourage bacteria growth in the mouth. They attack the tooth’s enamel causing decay. If you consume these items, make sure to brush or rinse your mouth thoroughly afterward.

  • Stomach acid

Digestive issues such as acid reflux can expose your mouth to acidity. Frequent episodes of these issues can erode the tooth’s enamel, making you more prone to tooth decay.

Symptoms of Cavities

Generally, a cavity doesn’t show any signs in the beginning. The signs and symptoms may also vary on the tooth’s location and the extent of the damage. Common tell-tale signs that you can watch out for include:

  • Recurrent toothaches
  • Pain when chewing or biting
  • Spontaneous pain without apparent cause
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Visible pits or holes in the teeth
  • Sensitivity or pain when consuming hot, cold, or sugary items
  • Teeth discoloration and staining
  • Tooth abscesses
  • Swollen gums around a painful tooth

Contact our dentist in New Brunswick, NJ, if you suspect you have might have cavities.

Who Is At Risk For Cavities?

While cavities are common among individuals of all ages, you might be at a higher risk if you:

  • Have cracked, chipped, and broken tooth
  • Take certain medications
  • Snack frequently
  • Have a history of cavities
  • Often eat sugary, acidic, and sticky foods
  • Had or are having neck or head radiation therapy

How to prevent cavities

Generally, cavities are easy to avoid. Here are tips for maintaining good oral health and preventing cavities:

  • Brush twice daily and floss once daily
  • Use fluoride toothpaste
  • Have Regular fluoride treatments
  • Apply dental sealants
  • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings
  • Avoid frequent snacking
  • Avoid hard, acidic, sugary, and sticky foods. Brush or rinse your mouth afterward if you must consume these items.
  • Eat healthier and hydrate well
  • Treat dental issues on time

Contact KK Dental – North Brunswick to speak with our general dentist in North Brunswick for more information about cavities and good oral health.

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