Our teeth are protected with a layer called enamel to prevent bacteria from taking over and leaving cavities. However, as we eat sugar or forget to brush our teeth every now and then, these bacteria are able to create acid to wear down the enamel. Once they are broken down, enamel does not grow back, and the cavity is left in its place.
What Is a Cavity?
When we were younger, we would always be told to care for our teeth so that cavities do not grow. But what exactly is a cavity, and why are we so afraid of it?
A cavity is a hole in your tooth, caused by bacteria eating away at it after they take away the enamel layer. These cavities may be small or big, but they are bad for our teeth altogether regardless of size.
They are often seen at the top of our teeth. However, other times, they can be found in between the teeth where food gets stuck or at the very front.
What Are the Effects of Having a Cavity?
If left alone, cavities can have serious detrimental effects on your oral hygiene. Cavities in worst-case scenarios may rot your teeth or cause them to fall out.
Aside from this, cavities may cause a lot of discomfort to the person that has them. For example, it may cause pain and sensitivity to that specific tooth that has it. It can even cause infections over time.
What Causes Cavities?
Throughout the day, after not being able to brush and floss, a sticky substance called plaque is formed on our teeth. This plaque is actually a film of bacteria that then feeds off the food and drinks we eat, especially the sugar in them.
After feeding off the sugar, they then form acid, which breaks down the enamel layer protecting our teeth. Once the enamel has been worn down, the acid then attacks our teeth and eventually leaves a hole, resulting in what is known as the cavity.
How Do I Know If I Have a Cavity?
One of the most obvious signs of having a cavity is tooth pain. However, there may be times when the pain will not be experienced until the cavity has already become a major issue.
It is important to constantly inspect your teeth. Cavities can either be off-white, black, or brown spots on your teeth. If you notice a spot like this, you may have a cavity.
Bad breath and swelling of gums are also other signs of cavities. If you have these signs, you may have a cavity, or it could even be a sign of other underlying illnesses.
How to Prevent and Fix a Cavity?
It is unfortunate to say that once the damage is done, cavities cannot be reversed. If you have a cavity, the best way to deal with it is to visit a dentist and have them give you a filling for the cavity.
This is why it is important to prevent cavities. You can do this by flossing and brushing every time after you eat. You can also try to eat less sugar to prevent your teeth from breaking down easily. Lastly, a regular dental visit every 6 months is necessary to keep your teeth well-maintained.
Cavities are irreversible, so it is important to take good care of your teeth in order to prevent them. Make sure that you are practicing good oral hygiene, so in the long run, you do not have to worry about cavities.
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