Natural bacteria lives and forms plaque in your mouth. When plaque interacts with leftover material from food and beverages, it forms acid. Over time, the acid erodes the enamel on your teeth and causes tooth decay, commonly known as cavities, or dental caries.
Tooth decay and cavities are common in both adults and children and can largely be prevented with good oral hygiene and routine dental care. Annapolis area family dentist Dr. Vernon Sheen offers comprehensive general dentistry for patients and families, emphasizing the importance of routine dental visits for disease prevention and the maintenance of good dental health.
Avoiding the dentist for long periods of time or consuming a diet that is high in added sugars are key contributors to tooth decay. When left untreated, tooth decay can threaten the integrity of your smile, leading to gum disease and even tooth loss.
Dental Cavities Prevention
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Floss daily
- Limit sugary and starchy foods
- Maintain regular dentist visits
- Dental sealants
Dr. Sheen can place dental sealants for patients of all ages and typically recommends them for children whose larger back teeth, or molars, have erupted.
Dental Cavity Symptoms
The best way to detect a cavity early is to maintain regular visits to the dentist. Only when the cavity is advanced will you experience symptoms such as:
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Pain or sensitivity when eating or drinking hot or cold foods and beverages
- Holes in the teeth
- Pus around teeth and gums
Dental Cavities Treatment
In its early stage, tooth decay can be stopped or even reversed with fluorides or other preventative treatments such as dental sealants. Treatment for dental cavities usually includes tooth filling. Tooth fillings provide long-lasting treatment and protect the tooth from further decay. If the cavity is large, the tooth may not be strong enough to support the filling. In this case, a dental crown will be placed over the tooth.