Your teeth play an important role in your daily life. Not only do you need your teeth for functional purposes like chewing, but they’re also one of the first things someone notices when looking at you! You only get one set of adult teeth to last your entire life, so it’s important to take care of them. Cavities are one of the most common dental issues seen in patients of all ages. Luckily, cavities are easy to treat if you catch them early! Here are some of the signs to look out for, and how you can prevent and treat them.
What Causes Cavities?Cavities are caused by tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when the bacteria in your mouth interacts with sugar from food and drinks you consume. The bacteria turn that sugar into acid that starts to erode the surface of your teeth. Once the acid breaks through the enamel on your teeth, it can start to go further in. These holes become known as cavities.
Preventing CavitiesThe best thing you can do to prevent cavities is to brush and floss your teeth at least twice each day. Avoid consuming large amounts of sugary food or drinks. Never let excess sugar sit on your teeth for too long. If you eat candy or drink a soda, brush your teeth about 30 minutes after you finish. Combine good dental habits at home with regular trips to the dentist every 6 months to identify early signs of tooth decay.
Symptoms of a CavityCavity symptoms can vary depending on the location and severity of the cavity. Potential symptoms include:
- Toothache – this can be consistent or random
- Tooth sensitivity, especially to hot, cold, and sugar
- Holes, pits, or discoloration on your teeth