What you eat, how well you take care of your teeth and many more choices are what can affect your teeth the most. Heredity can also play a role in how susceptible your teeth may be to decay. And while cavities might typically be more common among children, adults are also at risk. With proper dental hygiene and prevention, you can lower your risk of getting a cavity or tooth decay. If left untreated, cavities can destroy your tooth and kill the delicate nerves at its center, so seek care from our dentists here at Smith Family Dentistry immediately.
What are Cavities?
Cavities are holes or structural damage in the teeth. It is also another way to describe tooth decay. Though common in children, adults also have a high risk of getting cavities if proper dental hygiene is not followed.
The different types of cavities include the following:
- Coronal Cavities – this is the most common type of cavity, occurring both in children and adults, and located on chewing surfaces or between the teeth.
- Root Cavities – as you age, your gums recede, leaving parts of the tooth root exposed, which are easily prone to decay.
- Recurrent Decay – decay can form around existing fillings and crowns because the areas may have a tendency to accumulate plaque.
Adults are especially at risk for cavities if they suffer from dry mouth, which is a condition created by the lack of saliva. Dry mouth may be caused by illness, medications, radiation therapy and chemo therapy, and may be either temporary or permanent, depending on the cause.
You can help prevent cavities from forming by:
- Brushing at least twice a day.
- Flossing daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and below the gum line.
- Maintaining regular dental checkups to maintain proper dental hygiene as well.
Preventative care from your dentist can help stop problems from occurring and keep minor problems from becoming major ones. Additionally, remember to eat a well- balanced diet by limiting starchy or sugary foods. When you do eat sugary or starchy foods, try to eat them with your meal and not as a snack. This will minimize the number of times your teeth are exposed to acid.
If you get a cavity, treatment can help to prevent tooth damage from worsening. Treatment for a cavity may involve fillings, crowns or root canals. Your dentist at Smith Family Dentistry will fill a tooth by first removing the decayed tooth material with a drill. They will then replace the decay with material such as porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain and composite resin match the natural tooth appearance better and may be preferred for your front teeth.
Crowns or caps are used if the decay is extensive and there is limited tooth structure. A root canal is recommended if the nerve in a tooth dies from decay or injury. Only your dentist at Smith Family Dentistry in Randolph, NJ can tell for sure if you have a cavity because cavities develop below the tooth’s surface where you can’t see them. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.