Enjoying Better Dental Checkups

The Life Cycle Of A Cavity

When you understand the life cycle of a cavity it will help you to have a clearer picture of all of the things that you can do to prevent yourself and/or your children from getting them. However, you also want to understand that some people are just more susceptible to cavities due to factors such as thinner than normal enamel or soft spots in their teeth. Considering that you or your children have a regular set of teeth, this guide can do a great job of helping you fend off those cavities.

The start of a cavity

The start of a cavity begins with plaque setting on the tooth and starting to decay the outer surface of the tooth, which is known as the enamel. The enamel helps protect the middle and inner tooth and it is also what helps to give your teeth their whiter appearance. Once plaque starts to thin, the enamel and eventually succeeds at creating a hole, the cavity will be born.

The destruction of a tooth

Once you have a cavity in your tooth, it will become weaker and weaker in that area as the cavity progresses. Not only will the cavity get larger in circumference, but it will also get deeper. If it is left untreated long enough, it can decay much of the tooth. Eventually, it can become so large that much of the tooth will be gone and what is left will become extremely weak. It's possible for you to even chip or break off pieces of the tooth by doing something as simple as biting into a piece of food or chewing.

The onset of pain

A large cavity can cause the nerve of the tooth to be closer to the surface, or even to become exposed. These problems can cause your tooth to become extremely sensitive and even cause toothaches. Once the cavity gets to this point you will more than likely find that pain will become a regular thing.

The possibility of infection

When you or your child has a cavity, you will find that food can get caught in it. If the cavity is quite deep, it can be hard to remove the food. Sometimes those food particles can even stay in the cavity after brushing your teeth. This and other factors can lead to a tooth infection. If your tooth gets infected it can be extremely painful and you will need to go to the pediatric dentist and get started on antibiotics in order to clear up the infection.

Treating a cavity

It's best for you to get a cavity treated early on.  A small cavity can usually be treated by simply having a filling put in it. However, larger cavities may require more extensive treatments and sometimes the tooth can become so bad they require a full crown, a root canal or extraction of the entire tooth.