Why do I have cavities?
It’s the word that people fear when they go to the dentist for their check-ups: Cavities. You brush twice a day and floss so why did your dentist give you a failing grade on the big oral health test? Here’s an interesting fact many in Midlothian don’t know: cavities are a very common disorder, second only to the common cold, in fact. Still not making you feel better? Let’s take a look at the facts:
What is a dental cavity?
Dental Cavities are a result of tooth decay. Decay is the deterioration of the tooth structure; both the enamel and the dentin can be affected.
What causes a tooth cavity?
Cavities start to form on teeth when the bacterium in your mouth changes the food you eat into acid. This acid, combined with saliva and the remaining food particles in your mouth form plaque, which sticks to your teeth if not washed or brushed out. Plaque begins to form within 20 minutes of eating. It is this plaque that damages your teeth’s enamel, and eats away at it, forming a cavity.
How can I protect from dental cavities?
While cavities are most common among children and young adults, anyone can get a cavity at any time. Most everyone will get a cavity or cavities at some point in their lives, just like everyone catches a cold. Dr. Alex Hawkins says these simple steps can help prevent cavities:
- Certain foods are more sensitive to turn into the acid that cavities love. Be sure to brush or rinse after eating sugars and starches.
- Maintain regular dental health check-ups and cleanings at Hawkins Family Dentistry.
- Use protective mouth rinses and pastes like Carifree and Flourides.
Cavities are nothing to be embarrassed about, and they are definitely not something to try and ignore. Cavities that are not caught early on at your regular check-up can cause tooth pain or aches; especially after ingesting hot, cold, or sweet food or beverages. If left untreated, you may see visible pits or holes in your teeth or discoloration. With today’s technology Dr. Alex Hawkins can detect the early stages of tooth decay, using digital x-rays and a simple laser detection wand, that are not visible to the naked eye and save your teeth from major damage.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to make an appointment for an evaluation. We would love to see you and answer any question you may have.