Cavities are formed from tooth decay. Tooth decay can affect both the outer coating of a tooth (called enamel) and the inner layer (called dentin). Cavities seem harmless to most people, however, they are the first step to losing a tooth. Read more to learn about how cavities can cause damage to your teeth and how to spot the signs of tooth decay.
What causes cavities?A cavity forms from the deterioration of tooth enamel due to bacterial growth. Bacteria that forms on tooth enamel and gums is called plaque. A fairly common dental concern, plaque can usually be removed simply by brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Plaque, when not removed properly, can advance to a tougher form of bacterial growth called tartar, which brushing can't even remove.
These bacterial layers on the teeth break down sugars from the food you eat to form acids. Acid formation on the tooth's surface erodes the enamel and causes cavities, dental caries and other infections. This is the first step of early tooth decay.
Signs of CavitiesIt is crucial to spot the signs of a cavity as soon as they appear to prevent them from worsening with time. Here are the signs of cavity formation that you need to watch out for.
Sensitivity in TeethSensitivity is a tingling, and sometimes, painful tooth sensation that occurs during the consumption of sweet and sugary foods. Sensitivity can also be experienced when eating or drinking hot and cold foods and liquids. The extreme temperatures trigger this sensitivity reaction when a cavity exists. This happens because cavities create holes inside your teeth which expose nerve endings to the changes in temperature, causing pain and tingling.
ToothacheA toothache (usually a definitive sign of a cavity) that is self-triggered and does not ease up for hours, may be the cause of a cavity and should get checked out by your dentist, as soon as possible.
Visible Holes in TeethIf you can spot or feel a hole or pit in your tooth, you may have a cavity. However, if it exists inside a tooth in the back of your mouth, the cavity may not be visible and should be checked out by your dentist.
Why should you worry?A cavity that goes untreated can damage all the pulp inside your tooth and may require more costly and invasive dental treatment, such as a root canal. If the damage exceeds that level, your tooth may become decayed beyond repair and will need to be extracted to prevent infection to the adjacent teeth.
Please ensure you take the necessary steps to get your teeth examined. Neglecting a cavity could lead to requiring more invasive dental treatment. Visit your qualified dentist immediately to get your cavity treated and fight the signs of early tooth decay.