Out of all the dental diseases, cavity is the most common one. You must have often seen or
heard cavity infomercials for children. This is because the major reason of cavity buildup in the teeth is due to lack of dental hygiene. Almost all adults who didn’t get a fluoride treatment, or didn’t use fluoride toothpaste when they were kids, end up with a lot of cavities in their mouth.
It takes a while for a cavity to occur and one may not even notice it until it’s too late and the cavity is too deep. Cavity causes decaying of the tooth which also leads to discoloration of the tooth sometimes, making the affected tooth a few shades darker from the rest of the teeth. Chewing food often leads to small food particles getting stuck between the teeth. Sometimes these particles are so small that you can not even notice it with the naked eye. When these food particles stay in your mouth, they slowly turn acidic and promote growth of the germs. All of this, combined with your saliva and bacteria, lead to plaque formation on the teeth. As the plaque grows, it infects the enamel and ‘eats it up’. This causes formation of a hole in the tooth. If no dental care is given to this hole, it gets deeper until it reaches the end of the tooth, near the nerve ending. This causes severe pain which affects the entire mouth.
Causes of Cavity Formation:
- Poor dental hygiene can lead to growth of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria may lead to all sorts of dental diseases such as gum diseases, tooth decay, cavities, etc.
- There are a few germs always lurking in your mouth and eating food that contains too much of sugar and carbohydrates boosts the growth of these bacteria. These food products boost tooth decay.
- The bacteria and germs produce acid which eats on your tooth’s enamel, causing a hole to develop, which is called the cavity.
- As saliva helps in preventing growth of plaque, a person with dry mouth is more likely to suffer from tooth cavities.
- Tooth grinding causes erosion of the top protective layer of the teeth, this makes easy for the germs to infect the teeth and cause cavities.
Preventing Formation of Cavities:
- The easiest way for germs to spread is through saliva. Thus, it is recommended to not share cups, kitchen utensils, etc.
- Maintain a healthy diet that doesn’t contain excess amount of sugary and fatty food items.
- When you notice tooth pain, which specifically increases while you eat hot or cold food, follow up with a dentist immediately to treat the cavity before it spreads more and turns into an even more serious disease. Not treating even a minor cavity can end up causing you to need a root canal.
- Brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste is recommended as fluoride kills the germs in your mouth and also stops the acids which lead to cavity.