It begins with a slight twinge in one of your teeth or a little dark spot on a tooth's surface. You might think that it doesn't feel that bad, and that's when you've fallen into its trap. Cavities are insidious little things because they start gently enough.
But then your cavity grows – they always grow because it's the nature of a cavity to get bigger and bigger, like a black hole intent on swallowing your tooth whole. So that's why we at Elk Grove Smile Center recommend you deal with cavities early when they are small and are still repairable.
What Are Cavities?
When you run your tongue across your teeth, they feel smooth and hard, which is the enamel layer that covers your tooth's exterior. But in reality, your teeth are covered with tiny dimples, ridges, and valleys where food debris accumulates. Bacteria feed off that debris, producing acids as a by-product.
Those acids eat into your tooth enamel, deepening the dimples and valleys, creating more space ripe for further accumulation. If you don't manage these bacteria, then eventually, this process acts as a chemical drill, slowly burrowing into your tooth enamel. A cavity is born.
Types of Cavities
Cavities form on different surfaces of your teeth, and those locations help determine your cavity type.
- Coronal cavities – the most common type of cavity, are located on your front teeth' biting surfaces and the chewing surfaces of your back teeth.
- Interproximal cavities – cavities develop between teeth, especially between back teeth, harder to clean and trickier to floss. This type also endangers adjoining teeth.
- Root cavities – when bacteria penetrate your gums, they can infect your tooth roots which are softer than the enamel on your tooth's upper surfaces. Root cavities indicate advanced periodontal disease.
- Recurrent cavities refer to cavities that have been filled but continue to grow because tooth decay is still active, usually due to an inconsistent at-home routine.
How to Stop a Cavity Before It Begins
But as scary as dental cavities sound, the good news comes two-fold. First, dental cavities are treatable, and two, they are preventable. When you visit Dr. Vishnal Advani twice a year, he can identify cavities when they are small or even before they emerge. In the early stages, cavities can be filled more efficiently, reliably and show more durability.
Second, even with existing cavities, you can prevent future cavities with a consistent oral hygiene routine. This should include daily brushing and flossing, rinsing, drinking clear water between other beverages with sugars, and eating starchy foods to help clear the stickier foods debris.
Dental Care for Cavities in Elk Grove Village, IL
If you feel the tell-tale signs of a dental cavity, your quick action can keep a small problem small. So give the Elk Grove Smile Center team a call and make an appointment today.