Cavities are a dental issue that everybody has known about since childhood. We were always warned about eating too much sticky candy or being too lazy to brush our teeth at night, saying that we would get cavities. And as young kids who dreaded a trip to the dentist, it was a warning that almost always worked! Now as adults, you may still hear about cavities when you visit your dentist in Orlando for your routine dental checkup. They are one of the most primary tell-tale signs of a dental issue. It is about time that you get a clear idea about cavities, and how to tell if you have one.
So, what are these cavities?
Just like the name suggests, cavities are small hole-like damage that forms as a result of tooth decay. When you do not properly clean your mouth after eating food, the bacteria that has grown in your mouth can turn that food into acids. These acids cling on to the plaque and food particles around your teeth and over time they damage its protective enamel. When the enamel eventually dissolves, it creates holes in its surface which are called cavities.
Even though children get warned about cavities the most, they are not something only children get. In fact, you can get cavities at any age and the damage is significantly greater when they form in your permanent teeth as an adult. The concept, however, stays the same for both children and adults. If you eat a lot of sugary foods that are high in carbohydrates and do not clean your mouth properly after, you will most definitely get cavities that lead to tooth decay and far more complex dental issues which warrant for a less than pleasant trip to your dental clinic in Orlando.
How to know when you have developed cavities
Cavities are the first stage of tooth decay, and they are not quite visible nor do they cause pain until after they have already caused a lot of damage. This is why it is extremely important to make sure that the cavities are found before they can create irreversible damage. Since cavities weaken the protective enamel of the teeth, you may notice increased sensitivity when you consume food or drinks that are too hot or too cold. This is one of the early signs that you can watch for, and you should get treatment from a dentist as soon as possible before the cavities get larger and you start having a toothache. To determine if you have one or more cavities, you can schedule a dental checkup. This close inspection performed at your dental office in Orlando involves special tools and X-rays to identify the early stages of cavities. Many dental offices offer special inspections just for this purpose such as canary cavity detection in Orlando. Making sure that you do not miss your routine dental checkups at least once every six months, and having canary cavity detection performed during those checkups will ensure that your cavities are detected and treated early.
The treatments for cavities depend on how deep or widely spread the cavities are. The earlier you detect the cavities, the easier your treatment will be. Most often, your dentist will use a drill to remove the cavity area and composite resin filling to secure the gap. These fillings come in a variety of materials including porcelain, silver alloy, and even gold. There are some controversies when it comes to the long term effects of mercury-based fillings, but they are approved by the American Dental Association and the FDA.
If your cavities have become quite deep and damaged the enamel beyond repair, your dentist may suggest opting for a dental crown to protect the remainder of your tooth. During this treatment, the damaged cavity area is removed and a custom made crown is fit on top of it– covering the tooth and giving it an extra layer of safety. In the worst-case scenario, the cavity may have caused bacteria to infect the root of the tooth, calling for a root canal treatment. This is often followed by a dental crown for further protection.