Understanding Cavities and Tooth Decay

One of the most dreaded pronouncements that a person can hear is that he or she is suffering from tooth decay, that he or she has a cavity. With that said, if you are like most people, you have a basic understanding about cavities and tooth decay -- but actually do lack more specific information on the subject.


Through this brief article, you will be provided with a general overview about cavities and tooth decay. Of course, if you desire more information on the subject, you should schedule a consultation with your dentist. Additionally, if you feel that you are suffering from cavities or tooth decay, you really must schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

What are Cavities?

In simple terms, cavities are erosions that occur in the enamel of a person's tooth. Bacteria and physical damage to the enamel on a person's tooth. A cavity eats away at the enamel of a person's tooth, exposing the tooth structure underneath if not left treated.


A significant number of cavities were prevented in teeth in some countries around the world when municipalities began introducing minimal amounts of fluoride into consumable water. This has proven particularly helpful in preventing cavities in the mouths of children.


How Does Tooth Decay Start

Tooth decay can start in two different ways, generally speaking. First of all, there are instances when tooth decay can start as the result of some sort of physical damage or trauma to the surface of a tooth. For example, if a person bites into a hard object that ends up chipping a tooth -- even very slightly -- this can give rise to a cavity. What happens is that bacteria -- including plaque and tartar -- can end up lodging in the area that is created by the physical trauma to the tooth. Over time (and not much time in many instances) the enamel will further deteriorate and give rise to a cavity.


The second primary reason why tooth decay starts is the result of less than perfect oral hygiene. Many people simply do not brush or floss their teeth often enough. In addition, those people who do brush and floss with appropriate frequency may not actually take these oral hygiene steps in the right manner.


Once again, due infrequent or improperly executed oral hygiene, both plaque and tartar will build up on and between teeth giving rise to cavities in the long run.

The Importance of Obtaining Prompt Dental Care and Treatment

Even with proper brushing and flossing of teeth, it remains important for a person to obtain professional preventative dental care all of the time. This will be of great assistance in preventing cavities in the first instance. In addition, if a person suspects that he or she has a cavity, it is important that prompt dental care be obtained. Prompt dental care will work to limit the extend of damage caused by a cavity.




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