Cavities are one of the biggest enemies of a person’s smile. A cavity can begin to degrade the health of a tooth and could lead to eventual loss. Individuals need to see their dentist often to ensure they have no cavities. If cavities are discovered, they need to be treated in their earliest stages before they cause major oral health concerns.

What Is a Cavity?

A cavity first starts as an erosion. Acids from tartar begin to break down the hard enamel shell of the tooth. Once an erosion develops, decay can begin to set in over time. A cavity is decayed. The decay eats through the tooth and will eventually destroy it. If a cavity occurs, individuals need to see their Local Family Dentist right away.

What Are the Most Common Reasons for Cavities?

There are two main reasons a person develops cavities. A poor diet and poor oral hygiene both cause cavities to develop in teeth. Unfortunately, cavities can occur at any age. Cavities are most serious when they occur in adult teeth.

Individuals need to avoid eating junk food and fast food because they are full of sugar. Sugary drinks should also be avoided as much as possible. When people neglect the health of their teeth with poor oral hygiene, cavities are more likely to begin developing.

Can a Cavity Spread to Other Teeth?

One of the biggest misconceptions about tooth decay is how it spreads. While tooth decay can spread throughout a tooth, it cannot spread to other teeth in the mouth. Although decay cannot spread from one tooth to another, it can affect other teeth.

The same conditions that cause a cavity to develop can affect other teeth and cause decay. Individuals may also suffer an infection if they leave their cavities untreated. Infections can spread throughout the mouth and may affect multiple teeth.

How Can Individuals Prevent Cavities

Cavity prevention is essential for keeping a person’s smile healthy. Prevention begins with good oral hygiene practices at home. Brushing and flossing daily will help to remove the acidic plaque and bacteria that eventually lead to erosions and decay.

Individuals also need to make sure they see their dentists at least twice a year for examinations and teeth cleaning. At each preventative care appointment, the individual will have their teeth examined thoroughly. They will also have X-rays taken at least once a year.

As a part of a preventative care appointment, an individual will have their teeth cleaned. Teeth cleaning is essential for keeping cavities at bay. Even though a person may brush and floss as often as they should, there are certain areas they can miss. The back molars are especially prone to developing cavities because they are hard to reach with a toothbrush and floss.

Schedule a Dental Appointment

Scheduling a dental appointment twice a year is essential for cavity prevention. At these appointments, dentists can often find signs of cavities well before they cause major problems. Cavities are best treated in their early stages before they begin to cause major tooth destruction.

If a person begins experiencing the signs of a cavity, including pain, discoloration, or foul breath, it is important they schedule an immediate dental appointment to seek treatment. Treatment for a cavity will involve removing the decayed portions and filling the tooth so it no longer causes pain.