Cavities are something that most people end up dealing with at some point in their lives. However, there are some who end up putting them off for an impressive amount of time or even find a way to somehow avoid them altogether. You want to learn all you can about avoiding cavities, dealing with them if they do happen and everything else that you should know in order to be educated about them. This article will serve as a helpful guide on cavities that you want to make sure to read:
What protects your teeth from cavities?
The first step to understanding cavities is to understanding what protects you from them. Your teeth have a very hard outer shell made up of enamel. It is a material that's stronger than steel, but it is still brittle. It is also on your teeth in thin layers and this makes it somewhat fragile in certain conditions. You want to keep your enamel strong by giving it what it needs, such as calcium and fluoride. You also want to avoid injuring it by only using your teeth for eating and by eating the right foods.
How do cavities happen?
Cavities happen when there is a weak spot in the tooth that allows a hole to make its way through the enamel. What starts out as a small hole (cavity) will then continue to get bigger and bigger the longer that it is ignored and allowed to continue without treatment. Ignoring a cavity for a long time can cause full-blown tooth decay and eventual tooth loss.
How are cavities treated?
As long as you get right in when you suspect there may be an issue going on, the treatment can be a very simple one. It can be as easy as having a filling quickly put in and you walk out with the problem corrected. However, the larger you allow the problem to become, the more that will be needed to treat the tooth. You can even end up putting it off so long that the dentist will suggest completely pulling it. If it is pulled, then you aren't only looking at going through that ordeal, but then you will be left determining which tooth replacement option you would rather go with.
Can there be complications from cavities?
Small cavities don't usually come with complications; those generally arise as the cavity gets bigger. When it is large enough, it can get infected which can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, inflamed gums and the spread of the infection to the rest of your body. Food can get caught in the hole and make your breath smell bad and leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Contact a dentist, like Mainwaring John D DDS, for more help.