If ignored, cavities can grow bigger and deeper. They can lead to severe toothache, infection, and tooth loss.
Regular dental visits and good brushing and flossing habits are your best protection against cavities and tooth decay.
Cavities and tooth decay are some of the most common health problems of children.
Causes of Cavities
Major causes of tooth decay are sugary, sticky foods and beverages. The more sugar consumed, the more acid, which gets produced leading to decay.
Sugar combines with plaque to weaken the enamel, leaving you vulnerable to tooth decay. Each time you eat a sugary snack, your teeth are vulnerable to damage from the acids for the next 20 minutes.
It is important to understand the causes of tooth decay so you can learn the proper way to care for your teeth and care for your health.
Cavity and tooth decay factors to watch out for include:
Poor Oral Hygiene
Not brushing your teeth regularly allows plaque to build up and attack the tooth enamel.
Plaque is caused when bacteria, acid, food particles, and saliva all combine in your mouth. This plaque adheres to your teeth and builds up over time.
The acid in plaque attacks the enamel of your tooth and eventually can cause holes in your teeth, otherwise known as cavities.
Saliva helps wash plaque from the teeth. If you have a dry mouth with very little saliva, plaque may build up more quickly.
Eating and Drinking
This is where it all begins. Since we all have to eat and drink to live, there’s no way to avoid this, but it does play a significant role in the formation of cavities.
When you eat or drink, carbohydrates remain on your teeth until you brush. Even after brushing, you may not be able to remove all food particles or carbohydrates from your teeth.
Foods that tend to cling to your teeth can increase your risk for a tooth cavity. Be sure to brush your teeth regularly, especially after drinking milk or soda, or after eating dried fruit, dry cereal, hard candy, caramel, taffy, raisins, sugary cereals, cookies, and breath mints.
Bacteria and Acid
While most people don’t like to think about it, bacteria naturally live in your mouth. When these bacteria digest the carbohydrates that linger on your teeth and in your mouth, acid forms.
Some medical issues contribute to cavities by causing acid from your stomach to flow back into your mouth.
Similarly, bulimia increases the risk of a tooth cavity when the teeth are exposed to stomach acid during frequent vomiting.
In addition, some types of cancer treatment that expose the head and neck to radiation can promote a tooth cavity by changing the makeup of the saliva to promote increased bacterial growth.
Symptoms of Cavities
As tooth decay progresses, cavity symptoms start to appear. If you notice any of these common cavity symptoms, see your dentist as soon as possible. The earlier symptoms are identified, the quicker and easier the cavity treatment will be.
Tune in to your teeth, and be on the lookout for these cavity symptoms:
A toothache is one of the most common cavity symptoms.
Both increased tooth sensitivity and pain when biting down can indicate a cavity.
Cavity symptoms may include a noticeable hole or pit in the affected tooth. Sometimes the holes are only visible on a dental x-ray.
One of the more serious and obvious cavity symptoms is pus around a tooth.
Other common signs of a cavity that you will likely notice on your own include a toothache or sensitive teeth—particularly when eating sweet, hot, or cold foods or drinks. These signs of a cavity are usually associated with advanced tooth decay and therefore require immediate attention from a dental professional.
Proper oral hygiene can help you avoid cavity build-up. Here are some tips to help you prevent cavities:
Brush with fluoride toothpaste after eating or drinking
Fluoride helps strengthen your teeth. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily or every after meal.
Rinse your mouth
Your dentist may recommend you to use mouthwashes with fluoride. This helps you clean your mouth thoroughly.
Visit your dentist regularly
Visiting your dentist includes getting yourself professional teeth cleanings and oral exams that help you detect early signs of cavity formation.
Drink some tap water
Most public water supplies have added fluoride, which can help reduce tooth decay significantly. If you drink only bottled water that doesn’t contain fluoride, you’ll miss out on fluoride benefits.
Comprehensive Check Up, Clean & X-rays (if needed)
(with any health insurance)
*for new patients only
No Insurance: $150 Comprehensive Check Up, Clean & X-rays (if needed)
Oral Surgery at Deer Park Dental Surgery
At Deer Park Dental Surgery, we help you receive the dental services and care you deserve. We provide a wide range of dental services for patients who reside in Deer Park and surrounding areas.
If you want to schedule an appointment with your Deer Park dentist, call us at (03) 9360 4417 to set an appointment.
We are located at T097a Brimbank Shopping Centre Neale Road in Deer Park.
- Same day emergency appointments are available upon request
- All insurances are accepted with HICAPS. As a preferred provider for HCF and NIB
We are located in a busy medical centre in Brimbank Shopping Centre with plenty of cafes and shops nearby.
Easily accessible via public transportation (bus stop within walking distance)