What is a Cavity

Cavities are tooth decay that develop into very small openings or holes on the hard surface of your teeth. They can affect both the outer part of your tooth (the enamel) and the inner layer (dentin).

What Causes a Cavity

Cavities can be caused by a variety of factors. Sugary drinks and snacks like milk, soda, cereal, and candy, and frequent eating and drinking, as well as bacteria in your mouth may cause cavities. Sometimes, they can be caused by something as simple as just not cleaning your teeth good enough, since that allows plaque to build up, and the acids in plaque dissolve enamel.

Who Gets a Cavity

Anyone can get a cavity! While most people think only children are susceptible to cavities, older adults are, too. As we age, our gums can begin to pull away from our teeth and that allows for an area for food debris to hide and plaque to grow. It is very important to always employ a good oral hygiene routine whether you are 6, 16, or 66!

Symptoms of a Cavity

When a cavity first begins, you may not initially experience any symptoms. If you discover the warning signs of a cavity, you should call Dr. David Wilhite, D.D.S. at 972.964.3774 as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Cavities that are left untreated can lead to much more serious dental work and health concerns including roots canals and infection. Some of the warning signs of a cavity are:

  • Toothache
  • Brown spots on your tooth
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Mild to sharp pain when eating something hot or cold
  • Visible holes or pits in your tooth
  • Pain when you bite

How to treat a Cavity

The first steps in diagnosing a cavity are x-rays and looking inside the mouth. X-rays are used to see between the teeth. A drill is then used to remove the decayed portion of the tooth and it is filled in with a safe material, often a composite, tooth-colored filling. It sounds much scarier than it actually is! Remember to avoid sugary foods and frequent snacking; brush at least three times a day and floss regularly to avoid unwanted cavities!