What Is a Tooth Cavity and When Would I Have This Problem?

What Is a Tooth Cavity and When Would I Have This Problem?

A tooth cavity or tooth decay is a very common problem and is caused when the bacteria found in dental plaque penetrate your tooth enamel, entering and destroying the softer inner layer, which is called dentine. Dental plaque is a sticky film that builds up over tooth surfaces between brushing and flossing.

How Can Bacteria Do This?

When you eat something rich in carbohydrates or sugars, some of the food remains on your teeth. The bacteria in plaque convert this food into acid that weakens and erodes tooth enamel, eventually causing small lesions or pits that without treatment will develop into cavities. It’s a process called acid erosion.

How Can I Tell If I Have a Cavity?

Often small cavities in teeth won’t cause any symptoms, but if you have regular checkups, we will gently probe your teeth, looking for signs of soft areas or any small lesions in your tooth enamel. As well as a general check up we may suggest x-ray films. This is very important in assisting diagnosing decay especially at its early stages and we recommend taking those periodically At this stage, a small cavity is very easy to treat. Otherwise, signs of an untreated cavity include increased tooth sensitivity and especially when you have something hot or cold to eat or drink, and sometimes you can even see holes or pits in your teeth. A deeper cavity can cause severe toothache and infection.