Dental cavities, tooth decay, or dental caries as they are referred to is considered as a major oral health disorder especially in industrialized countries. It does not just affect a high percentage of young children but as well as a great number of adults. Dental cavities first develop holes into the enamel of the teeth. Cavities develop below the tooth’s surface, you can’t even notice. Eating foods rich in sugars and starches produce acids that penetrate the tooth, out of the bacteria in plaque built by the carbohydrates. Once the enamel is damaged, the surface then collapses and form dental cavities.
Cavities should be taken seriously for if it will be left untreated, can destroy your tooth and even kill the surrounding sensitive nerves at the middle which can further on develop an infection. The infected root tip can only be treated by root canal or by tooth extraction.
Three Types of Dental Cavities
- Root cavities – As we get older, our gums recede exposing the tooth root. This is a major cause why these areas are susceptible to decay.
- Coronal cavities – This is the most common kind of cavities that occur in both young children and adults alike. We can find coronal cavities in chewing surfaces and in between teeth.
- Reoccuring cavities – Cavities can easily form around the crowns and tooth fillings and these areas are prone to accumulate tooth plaque which eventually leads to dental cavities.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms one experiences if tooth holes have dental cavities will vary and largely be based on the severity of the tooth decay. In some cases during the onset of a cavity, you cannot even feel nor notice that it has already developed.
- A lingering toothache – If your toothache lasts for a long time and you experience it frequently.
- A piercing pain when chewing or biting down food – If you feel a strong ache each time you are chewing or even biting down pieces of food, when using some of your teeth, this is one symptom of dental cavities.
- Black holes and/or spots on teeth – You can notice developing black spots crowning the top of your teeth which wasn’t there before, they are signs of tooth decay.
- Sensitivity to certain hot or cold food, especially sweets – Each time you drink hot and/or cold beverages and you feel a sudden sharp pain and also if you happen to have tooth ache every time you eat certain sweet food.
When Do Dental Cavities Occur?
Dental cavities form because of several factors. Accumulated food particles that get stuck to your tooth filling is one major cause, as well as bacteria and certain acids that can build up plaque which will cover your teeth. The strong acid in the plaque can start damaging your tooth enamel and next is the dentin, which is the soft layer. If left untreated, the inside part of your teeth which is called the pulp will be affected. The pulp is where we can find the nerves and the blood vessels. The irritation, pain, and swelling are signs that the tooth decay has already spread to the pulp which can furthermore cause damage.