dental care blog
Find great information, insights, tips and helpful information on how to keep your teeth healthy
Cavity – the scourge of teeth!
If your dentist tells you that your tooth has got a problem, chances are that the problem is a cavity. But, what is a cavity? How did you get it? What can you do about it? And, how can you prevent it?
Well, this is everything you need to know about cavities.
The medical term for cavity is caries. Dental caries refers to any decay your tooth may experience. Enamel and dentin are the two outer layers of a tooth. Enamel is the outer hard white covering, while dentin is a yellow layer below it. A cavity is essentially a hole in your enamel and dentin. Small cavities don't hurt, but as the cavity grows, it will reach the soft tissue below your dentin and begin affecting your nerves; hence the terrible pain.
Once it affects you nerves, then you may have to get a tooth extraction or root canal procedure done.
What causes a Cavity?
- A cavity occurs because acid eats through your enamel and dentin.
- Where does this acid come from? Bacteria give out lactic acid which comes onto your tooth and creates a hole.
- Lactic acid is created by bacteria to break down food, especially glucose and other sugary food.
This is why dentists always advice against eating too many sugary foods. Too many sugary foods will produce more lactic acid which creates a cavity in your tooth.
In short, lots of sweets are bad for your teeth (listen to your dentist!).
Choices when dealing with a Cavity
Treating a cavity all depends on how deep the cavity has gone in your teeth.
Usually a dentist will advise you to get a filling done. Your enamel has been worn down and needs additional protection. A dentist will use a composite filling to prevent the cavity from becoming worse.
- Root Canal
When the tooth is severely damaged by the cavity, a root canal removes the pulp and nerve and seals the tooth. This completely prevents any further decay.
- Tooth Extraction
Only in extreme cases will a dentist recommended a tooth extraction. The tooth is completely removed if the cavity is very bad and the tooth can't be saved.
It is much easier to prevent a cavity than deal with it.
- Drink lots of Water
Water keeps your mouth fresh. Add to the fact that water cleans up any food material from sticking in your mouth. Especially drink water after eating food.
- Brush your Teeth TWICE a day
Brushing your teeth at the end of the day makes sure that you remove any food particles stuck between your teeth. Brushing your teeth at the beginning and end of the day helps kill any germs in your mouth and eliminates food particles that needed more force to be removed.
There are gaps and corners where food will get stuck. A brush won't be enough to remove these food particles. You need to use a floss to pull them up. Floss your teeth every week.
Taking care of your teeth is very important, especially once you cross your teen years. You get that set of teeth only once, so take care of it right!
Call Now: 587 410 5766
Dr. Alexander Yeh and Dr. Iyad Al-Qishawi are registered general dentists. They graduated in the same class at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Dentistry.
Edmonton Emergency Dental Services:
Pain and infection relief
Phone: 587 410 5766
Address: Suite #110 4445 Calgary Trail Southbound NW, Edmonton, AB T6H5R7