What is a tooth cavity?

A tooth cavity is something that happens when decay breaks down the enamel of the tooth and slowly starts to eat at the inner dentine. It’s an irreversible condition that’s caused by plaque and tartar. This decay, which can be avoided by good oral hygiene and a balanced diet is today, the number one health concern for children. Avoiding cavities is essential in ensuring good health and long lasting teeth.

Plaque is something that we can control simply by brushing our teeth after every meal. It’s that awkward furry feeling that everyone feels and it’s a yellow crud that forms on the outside of one’s teeth. Technically, it’s known as a bio-film and it’s essentially decayed food debris. Eventually, that food debris gets trapped in hard to reach spaces, turns into plaque and then eventually it hardens and turns into tartar. When tartar forms, it’s very hard to remove without the help of a dentist.

A tooth cavity happens when tartar starts to release acids that slowly break down the enamel. Enamel might be the hardest substance in the human body, but it doesn’t last long when tartar is present. That’s why it’s really important to visit a dentist for regular checkups at least twice a year.

When toothache occurs, that’s normally a sign of decay and an indicator that you should see a dentist. What this means is that the nerve within the tooth has become agitated due to either infection or the presence of bacteria. Normally, a dentist will fix a cavity / toothache by cleaning out the decayed part of the tooth, disinfecting it and then applying an amalgam filling that reseals and protects the tooth.

Thankfully, the procedure is painless, quick and it solves most decay related problems. If you have regular checkups, then you can control the spread of cavities and possibly even eliminate them, as today dental cavities are on the rise.

Brushing ones teeth is the most obvious solution to the problem, however even regular brushings can’t clean 100% of your teeth. To do that, you need the help of a dental hygienist who can descale and polish your teeth, leaving them tartar free. This helps to keep your teeth healthy for as long as possible.

Sometimes, when a dental cavity forms it’s too severe to simply fill. In these cases, while an extraction might be necessary, a dentist will only ever perform one if there’s truly no other option. Normally, the next treatment would be a root canal and crown, which despite the rumors, is pretty much painless. The procedure, which involves cleaning the interior and exterior of the tooth, is more thorough than a filling.

A tooth cavity can also happen in young children and even babies. When it does, many people think it’s a problem that doesn’t need to be fixed, but without a child’s filling, that cavity might very well spread not just to other teeth, but to the adult teeth too. As a result, getting cavities filled / treated is critically important for everyone.

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