AM I AT HIGHER RISK FOR GETTING CAVITIES?
Even if you don't know what a cavity is to know you don't want one. However, if] you're like most men and women in Monaca, PA, you may not know enough about cavities to understand how important it is to treat them quickly or avoid them altogether if you can. In this post, you'll learn what cavities are, how they form, the different types of cavities, why some people are more likely to develop cavities, how cavities can be treated, and how you can help avoid getting cavities. This might look like a lot, but our team at DentalWorks - Beaver Valley wants to make sure Monaca, PA patients are armed with as much information as possible in their fight against cavities.
Basically, a cavity is a tiny hole in your enamel. A cavity (also called dental caries) is created when bacteria on your enamel turns into plaque. This plaque formation, if not cleaned away, will start to erode the hard enamel covering your tooth. This decay needs to be treated before it reaches the interior pulp of your tooth becomes an infection. When you have a cavity, it could manifest as symptoms including a toothache, teeth that are sensitive to hot and cold, as well as pain whenever you chew. When you have any of these symptoms, schedule an oral health examination with your dentist in Monaca, PA so they can identify and treat the underlying problem.
TYPES OF DENTAL CAVITIES
Dental caries (cavities) can grow anywhere on your enamel. Depending on the location of a cavity, it may be classified as interproximal, pit and fissure, or root.
- INTERPROXIMAL CARIES
Interproximal caries, also known as smooth surface cavities, form on the sides of teeth and in between your teeth. More common in patients who do not floss, cavities between your teeth often require more enamel to be removed before they can be filled.
- ROOT CARIES
Also known as gumline cavities, root caries develop on the surface of your teeth near the gums. Usually found in patients with gums that are receding, root caries form on a weaker area of the tooth, which makes them more painful and they progress faster than other forms of cavities.
- PIT AND FISSURE CARIES
Also known as coronal cavities, pit and fissure caries are on the tops of your back teeth. Pit and fissure cavities are the most common sort of dental caries because the grooves and uneven surface make it easy for plaque and bacteria to get trapped and missed.
WHAT INCREASES YOUR RISK OF CAVITIES
Anyone with teeth can get cavities, but there are certain people who are more prone to getting cavities. These are some of the factors that may increase your risk of cavities.
- DRY MOUTH
Your natural saliva can help to wash away bacteria in your mouth. If you have dry mouth (often caused by medications), your mouth is producing less saliva, which puts you at higher risk of developing cavities and other dental health problems.
- RECEDING GUMLINE
The gums cover the sensitive roots of your teeth, so a receding gumline may make your teeth prone to root cavities. Receding gums are also a sign of periodontal (gum) disease, which needs professional treatment.
- TOO MUCH SUGAR IN YOUR DIET
Sugary foods and drinks (like candy, soda, and juices) work as a stimulant for the bacteria in your mouth leading to more cavities. While it's best to minimize or eliminate sugar and processed foods from your diet, you need to at least brush your teeth or rinse your mouth after sugary snacks and drinks.
- TOOTH SHAPE
Back teeth (molars and premolars) with especially deep grooves are more likely to get cavities. It's easy for debris, plaque, and bacteria to get caught in these pits. It's also more difficult to properly clean these deep grooves to remove the plaque and bacteria that causes pit and fissure cavities.
- POOR ORAL HYGIENE
If you choose not to take very good care of your teeth by brushing and flossing every day along with regular visits to your dentist, you're more likely to have cavities. Flossing and Brushing your teeth daily helps to remove plaque and bacteria so they don't have the opportunity to turn into cavities.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HAVE A CAVITY
Usually, cavities can be treated with a filling. After your dentist eliminates the decayed enamel, they will place composite resin to seal the tooth. For larger cavities, then an inlay or onlay may be placed. A customized restoration, an inlay or onlay is made dependent on the shape and size of the area where the cavity was removed and then carefully adhered. If a tooth is damaged and weak from various cavities, your dentist might cover it with a crown. Without treatment, a cavity might spread to infect the interior pulp, which will require a root canal. The earlier a cavity is identified and fixed, the less damage it will do and the easier your treatment will be, so make sure you are getting oral health exams with a dentist in Monaca, PA at least one time per year.
REDUCING YOUR RISK OF CAVITIES
Like most people, you'd probably prefer to avoid getting a cavity. There are a number of things you can do to avoid cavities, starting with brushing your teeth twice a day as well as flossing at least once per day. Furthermore, you need to use mouthwash or rinse your mouth after snacks and meals. Tap water enhanced with fluoride (determine if your city puts fluoride in their water) can help strengthen your enamel. Professional fluoride treatments are recommended to help children as well as adults who are prone to cavities. Dental sealants can also be placed on the back teeth to reduce the possibility of pit and fissure cavities. Schedule professional cleanings twice a year with your dentist in Monaca, PA so they can help you remove built-up from your enamel before they turn into harmful cavities.
KEEP CAVITIES OUT OF YOUR SMILE
If you've read this far, you know everything you need to about cavities, you're better equipped to avoid getting them. If you're looking for an excellent dentist in Monaca, PA who can help treat any current cavities and help you prevent future cavities, schedule an appointment at DentalWorks - Beaver Valley. Our skilled team of dental professionals can help you and your family restore and enhance your teeth.