What Are Dental Cavities? Here's All You Need to Know

What Are Dental Cavities? Here's All You Need to Know

Nov 01, 2020

Do you experience some pain while chewing or have an increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks? If your answer is a resounding yes, then the chances are you have dental cavities. Cavities are a common problem in our generation since we consume a lot of sugary foods and drinks, and many people have poor oral hygiene.

Cavities are one of the leading causes of tooth loss in America today. However, this shouldn’t be the case. Our dentist in Newton, MA, has a plethora of solutions for cavities, including dental inlays and onlays in Newton, MA.

But before we look at these solutions, let’s see what cavities are all about.

Understanding Cavities

Your teeth are sturdy because they are covered with the hardest substance in the body known as enamel. This is why your teeth can last your entire lifetime. Even though they are sturdy, they cannot survive the continual onslaught of bacteria.

You have helpful and harmful bacteria in your mouth. When you eat sugary foods, the harmful bacteria swarm around the food to digest it. For them to digest the sugar in food, they release certain acids. Your body notices the invasion of bacteria, and to fight them off, it releases chemicals that harm your teeth in the process.

In a nutshell, these acids remove the minerals on your tooth’s enamel, making it weak. Over time, a hole forms, and this is what is called a cavity. Whenever you consume sugary foods or drinks, your teeth become vulnerable to damage by the bacteria for the next 20 minutes.

What Causes Cavities?

It is essential for you to know what causes cavities so that you can take proper care of your teeth. Here are some of the factors that you need to look out for:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene

If you do not brush your teeth at least twice each day, you will allow plaque to form on your teeth. The buildup of plaque is bacteria’s playground, and this is bad for your teeth’s enamel.

  • Plaque Formation

If you do not properly brush your teeth as you should, plaque (a clear, sticky film that coats your teeth) forms. This is why you need to visit our Newton dentist for regular cleanings.

  • Dry Mouth

Saliva plays a protective role in that it buffers the acid that can attack your teeth. It also aids in washing the plaque from your teeth. So, if you have a dry mouth, plaque and bacteria will build much faster.

  • Eating and Drinking

This is where all the issues begin. Since we cannot survive without food, you need to be careful and watch what you eat. Carbohydrates tend to linger in the mouth, so you need to brush regularly, especially after drinking sugary beverages or eating dried fruits, hard candy, and cookies.

  • Medication

If you undergo certain cancer treatment that exposes your head and neck to radiation, this might increase your chances of getting cavities. This is because radiation can cause the makeup of your saliva to change, thus promoting cavities.

Symptoms

At the onset, you may not notice any of the symptoms, but as the cavity gets larger, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • Pain when you bite down
  • Visible holes in your teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Toothache
  • Mild to severe pain when you eat or drink something hot or cold
  • Brown or black staining on any surface of a tooth

Treatment

Professionally, we have four main ways in which our dentist near you deals with dental cavities:

  • Fillings

These are the most common form of treatment when it comes to dealing with cavities. Our dentist in Newton, MA, removes the decayed part and packs the space with the appropriate filling. There are different types of filling materials that can be used.

  • Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are also a viable option when it comes to treating cavities. An inlay is simply a pre-molded filling fitted into your tooth’s grooves but does not extend over the cusps. On the other hand, an onlay is used to repair a tooth with extensive damage that affects the biting surface.

  • Crowns

If a large portion of your tooth is destroyed, then dental crowns are a better option. Dental crowns cover the entire tooth, saving it from further damage.

  • Root Canal

A root canal is necessary when the tooth’s damage goes much deeper than the enamel and settles in the middle of the tooth. Our dentist will remove the damaged nerves and the surrounding blood vessels. Typically, your tooth will be covered using a dental crown.

  • Extraction

If your teeth are damaged beyond repair, then extraction becomes the only viable option.

When to See Our Dentist

Cavities take time to form, so you might not be aware that your teeth are decaying. This is why you need to regularly visit our Newton dentist for checkups and cleanings, even when your teeth feel fine.

You can contact our dentist at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners if you need a checkup or general dentistry in Newtonville, MA.

617.965.1225 Schedule Now