Cavities


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Cavities are the holes in your teeth, usually brought about by decay due to a build up of tartar and plaque.  Cavities are formed by the repeat application of sugars and food debris to a specific area.  When this occurs bacteria forms, leading to the tooth rotting in specific locations.  Cavities are basically tooth decay.

Types of Tooth Cavity

  • Root cavities – roots decay quickly if left exposed, this can happen if the gums recede either due to age or gum disease
  • Coronal cavities – the most common form of cavity found on the flat, chewing surface of the tooth
  • Recurrent decay – decay around fittings such as dental crowns, veneers or brace brackets

Tooth Cavity Treatments

Cavities in the early stages can be treated using professional cleaning and by a stricter oral health program.  Your dentist is likely to clean up the area and ensure that you are in no pain due to the cavity.  Sometimes they will fill it anyway in order to prevent any further damage to the tooth.

The usual treatment for a cavity is a dental tooth filling.  There are many types available of differing costs all with their own benefits and downfalls.  The options will be discussed with you by your dentist but the most common are amalgam fillings and white composite fillings.  These are available on the NHS and are relatively cheap and long lasting.

In very advanced stages cavities can lead to pulpitis, and subsequent problems with the dental pulp, cementum and nerve endings within the tooth.  In these instances it might be necessary for you to have a root canal treatment or even to have the tooth removed. 

If left alone a cavity will only get worse and worse, with the tooth being lost in the final stages.  Cavities are also quite painful, and require dental attention as soon as is possible. 

Tooth Cavity Prevention

The best way to protect your teeth against cavities is to ensure that you keep them as clean as possible.  Brushing at least twice a day, but preferably after every meal, ensures that plaque doesn’t build up to a dangerous level and removes food debris from your teeth.  As well as brushing you ought to floss and use a good mouthwash on a very regular basis.