This is the feeling you have always heard about. You are a literal kid in a candy store. A rainbow of sugar unfurls before your eyes, and your only problem in the world is where to start. The cornucopia of chocolates could take you all day on their own. Before you dig into the sweets, you go to the restroom to wash your hands. As many people do, you check your teeth to see if anything is in them. You notice one of your teeth is slightly discolored. That’s odd, you think, I haven’t felt anything different. How did this happen? Dr. Spadafora, your family dentist in Hermitage, PA, discusses how you can develop cavities, and how they can be treated.
How Do I Get a Cavity?
Cavities are one of the first things everyone learns about as a child when they begin brushing their teeth. It is the proverbial Boogey Man to keep kids on the straight and narrow. The most obvious signs tend to be discoloration and pain in the teeth. What brought this about? A few typical causes are:
- Inadequate brushing or flossing
- Sugary or sticky foods which cling to teeth
- Frequent snacking or grazing
- Younger or older age
How Do These Lead to Cavities?
All these factors lead to a buildup of plaque on your teeth and gums. Plaque is the sticky film you can feel on your teeth after you have eaten. It is formed when natural bacteria in your mouth consumes the sugar left on your teeth. This bacteria then produces an acid that eats away at the enamel of your teeth, and will continue until it is properly treated. Brushing and flossing are meant to clean this substance off, so a lack of consistent oral hygiene can lead to an unwanted build-up. When some snacks frequently, it is usually with sugary or salty food, and this can lead to an increased production of plaque. This is why food such as soda, candies, and fruit juices are tangentially associated with cavities. Young children and seniors more susceptible to cavities because they have more sensitive teeth, and might not have the necessary oral hygiene habits.
What Is The Treatment For Cavities?
Cavities are quite common in children and adults, so there is a wide variety of treatments for them depending on the severity of the cavity. These include:
- Root Canals
If a cavity is caught early, it can be simply addressed by cleaning the damaged portion of the tooth out, and then using a liquid resin to fill in the gap. A cavity that is advanced might require more of the tooth to be replaced with something like a crown, with is a high-quality restoration that fits over the remainder of your natural tooth. Root canals and extractions are for the most advanced cavities, and remove a large portion of the tooth. Dr. Spadafora is a dental implant specialist, so whether your cavity is slight or severe, he can help you. Your comfort is paramount during all procedures, and Dr. Spadafora will offer you a variety of sedation techniques to make sure you have no reason to be anxious.
How Can I Prevent Cavities?
One of the best ways to prevent cavities is through consistent brushing and flossing so plaque never has a chance to build up. This is then augmented by regular, bi-annual visits to the dentist’s office, because brushing and flossing cannot reach all the surfaces on your teeth. A slight reduction in sugary snacks or drinks is a good step as well. Should you find yourself with a cavity, Dr. Spadafora and his team know just how to take care of you.