Cavities are one of the most common health problems in the world, but they don’t cause much damage if you catch them early. At Mitchell & Crosby Family Dentistry in Casa Grande, Arizona, you can get regular exams to catch cavities early or you can be treated for cavities that are already doing damage. Call the clinic or request your appointment online for a cavity assessment today.
Cavities Q & A
What are cavities?
Cavities are areas of decay in your teeth. They develop into small holes in the surface of your tooth and get larger and worse the longer you don’t treat them.
Your teeth begin to decay in this way when bacteria build up in their grooves and around them. The acidic bacteria eat away at your enamel and through the layer below, called the dentin.
Cavities are extremely common. You can get them at any age. Your dentist at Mitchell & Crosby Family Dentistry can detect them during a routine exam or they can result in symptoms that prompt you to go to the dentist.
Do cavities cause symptoms?
At first, cavities don’t cause any detectable symptoms. Once the bacteria penetrates the enamel, you might feel some signs and sensations. Cavities that have progressed beyond the earliest stage can result in:
- Heat sensitivity
- Cold sensitivity
- Sensitivity to sweets
- Spontaneous pain
- Visible holes in your teeth
- Dark stains on your teeth
Seeing your dentist once every six months for a cleaning and exam helps you catch cavities early and avoid the symptoms. In general, cleanings are a preventive measure against cavities, so you’re likely to have fewer of them or none at all if you keep up on your dental care.
What causes cavities?
The bacteria that build up on your teeth and eventually cause cavities can appear and stick around long enough to cause damage for many reasons. You’re likely to get cavities if you:
- Don’t brush properly or often enough
- Don’t get enough fluoride through your water, toothpaste, or rinses
- Drink lots of soda
- Eat lots of snacks
- Eat foods that stick to your teeth
- Have a dry mouth
There are many other risk factors for cavities, and your dentist can help you identify yours.
What treatments are available for cavities?
If your cavity is brand new, you can treat it easily with a fluoride treatment from your dentist. They place fluoride gel over your teeth with a brush or using a tray.
For more severe cavities, your dentist might recommend:
- Inlays and onlays
- Root canals
If a cavity causes too much damage to your tooth, an extraction might be necessary to keep the decay from spreading into your jaw. In such cases, you can replace the tooth with a bridge or a dental implant.
To book your next exam and find cavities early, call Mitchell & Crosby Family Dentistry or use the online scheduling feature today.