In most of us, tooth decay is influenced by what we eat, how we take care of our teeth, and the amount of fluoride in our toothpastes.
Dental Care: All About Cavities
Cavities are a result of tooth decay. For most of us, tooth decay is mainly influenced by what we eat, how we take care of our teeth, and the amount of fluoride in our toothpastes. Of course, it also has a genetic aspect as well. If your family has a history of tooth disease or problems with teeth or gums, then you may inherit that. Inherited dental problems is quite common. Both my parents had bad teeth, and both my sister and I had many problems with our teeth and gums and had to get dentures in our 20's.
Adults with a lack of saliva, will often suffer from a dry mouth and are more at risk for cavities. Dry mouth is very common, and is generally the result of certain medications, combinations or quantity of medicines, illness, and radiation treatment. Tobacco users also commonly suffer from dry mouth, as the tobacco uses up the saliva in the mouth and leaves the user with nothing to keep his or her mouth moist.
Cavities, though common, can be a very serious situation. If left untreated, a cavity can result in the destruction of the tooth. This can destroy the nerves as well, resulting in an abscess. An abscess is very serious, as it is an infection of the root tip. If left untreated, an abscess can result in death. So, as you can see, cavities are a very serious matter that can quickly develop into something even more serious.
Recent research has shown, that untreated dental problems, such as
cavities, can actually result in serious health problems, such as heart
It has been shown that a regular visit to your dentist can not only
result in cavities being detected and fixed, but can actually result in
their prevention or at least a lesser problem with them. Often, unless
you visit the dentist regularly, it may be impossible to tell whether
or not you have a cavity. A great many cavities develop below the gums,
and you won’t be able to see them, but the dentist will. If
the cavity is in the visible portion the tooth, you will probably be
able to see it, as it will change the color of the affected area. If
you do notice a such a color change or a blackened area in your tooth,
you should make an appointment with your dentist immediately.
Your diet is a big factor in the development of cavities.
If you eat a lot of foods sweetened with sugar, or drink a lot of soda, you will be at a higher risk for cavities. Foods that are rich in sugar
or starch are eaten by bacteria found in plaque, which will produce acids that can even eat through teeth. This acid is very harmful to
teeth, as it can eat through the dentin and enamel in no time at all. If you don’t do something about it, the acid will continue to
eat at the tooth until there is nothing left to save - leaving you no choice but to get the tooth extracted.
In such conditions, over time, the tooth enamel will start to break
down beneath the surface of your tooth, even though the surface may
still appear to be fine. Once the acid has eaten away enough of the
enamel below the surface, it will collapse, creating a cavity. Once you
have reached this point, if you don’t get treatment, the
tooth will continue to be eaten away and the cavity will continue to
spread until all of the tooth has been eaten. At this point the enamel
will be gone and the tooth's root will be exposed - which can be very
Cavities more often tend to develop in the pits of chewing areas around
the back teeth, between your teeth, or near the gum line. However, no
matter where they occur, the easiest way to spot them in time to treat
them is to visit your dentist. In addition to a visual inspection, the
dentist will be able to do x-rays and find out just how bad
and tell you what treatment options are best. If you visit the dentist
in time, you should be able to save the tooth and stop the cavity
before it spreads and destroys the entire tooth