What Causes Cavities and How Do You Prevent Them?

cavity treatment virginia beach vaOur teeth: These pearly little powerhouses do so much for us. We should really appreciate them more than we do. Without them it would be much more difficult to chew the food that nourishes our bodies and helps us stay healthy and strong. Our teeth also help to make a good first impression when we’re introduced to somebody new.

Humans grow two sets of teeth in their lives: their baby (primary) teeth and their adult (secondary) teeth. Once you have all your adult teeth, usually by twelve or thirteen, it’s very important to take care of them as you won’t be growing anymore. The most common threat to a healthy and long life for your teeth are cavities.

What Is A Cavity?

Cavities are what it’s called when tooth decay has weakened and opened holes — hence the name, cavities–  in your tooth enamel, exposing the sensitive soft tissues and nerves inside. This exposure can cause you to feel sensitivity and discomfort as well as making your tooth vulnerable to bacteria which can cause infections. If left untreated, cavities can eventually make chewing properly challenging, limiting your dietary options and making it difficult to get proper nutrition.

Cavities are the most frequently diagnosed illness after the common cold. But what causes this threat to healthy teeth? What can we do to fix them? And how can we prevent them so we don’t have to fix them?  Coastal Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry of Virginia Beach, VA would like to educate you about cavities.

How Do Cavities Form?

Our mouths contain live bacteria, most of which is relatively harmless on its own. These bacteria tend to concentrate and form plaque in places that are hard for us to clean such as in between teeth and right at the gum line. When we eat foods that contain carbohydrates such as sugars (like in donuts and candy) or starches (like in potato chips), the bacteria in our mouths break these components down. This creates acids that bind to the plaque already on our teeth and eat away at their enamel.

How Are Cavities Treated?

Cavities are usually treated by your dentist with fillings, because in this treatment your dentist fills in weakened areas of the tooth enamel with various substances. Fillings stop the process of decay by reinforcing the compromised part of the tooth, preventing bacteria and acids from eating away any further. Fillings can be completed with composite resin, amalgamated metals, gold, silver or glass ionomer. Your Coastal Dentistry dentist will consult with you to decide which material would work best for your teeth.

Preventing Cavities

It’s much easier to prevent tooth decay than to reverse it once it has set in. Brushing your teeth after meals or at least twice a day with a fluoride-infused toothpaste is recommended by your dentist to remove the plaque that causes cavities while also strengthening your enamel.

Dentists also suggest cutting down on carbohydrates and keeping yourself properly hydrated. A dry mouth can accelerate the acidic breakdown of your teeth. Daily flossing helps clear away the plaque and bacteria in those hard to reach spaces between your teeth to reduce your risk of cavities.

For those patients in the Virginia Beach, VA area, you can call (757) 453-7657 for an appointment at our Laskin Road office or (757) 264-6361 to be seen at our Haygood Road office. You can also request an appointment online for whichever Coastal Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry office you would like. If you think you may be suffering from a cavity or would just like a cleaning or consultation, contact us today!