Causes of Cavities
A wise man once said, “You don’t have to brush all of your teeth – just the ones you want to keep.” But even the most diligent tooth brusher is still likely to develop a cavity at some point in his or her life. The reason for this is simple; cavities are caused by bacteria.
No Mouth is Safe
Even if you brush and floss three times a day, there is still the possibility that something may be stuck in your gums or between your teeth and may harbor bacteria for long enough to develop a cavity in your tooth. Once bacteria has begun the process of decay and started creating a cavity in your tooth, no amount of brushing, flossing or mouth wash can repair the damage.
An Apple a Day… Won’t Keep Cavities at Bay
Cavity-causing bacteria are particularly fond of certain kinds of fermentable carbohydrates, such as fructose and glucose. If those words sound familiar but you can’t quite place them, check the label of your soda can, bread, juice, or on the package of any kind of sweets you can buy at the grocery store. Almost every packaged food has either fructose, glucose, or sucrose, another type of fermentable carbohydrate, in it. Many natural foods like fruits, even that proverbial apple, have fructose in them.
Indicators of Dental Caries or Cavities
If you do develop a dental cavity, you may not notice at first, as it can take a significant amount of time to reach the point of tooth pain. Indicators of cavities can include:
- Heat or cold sensitivity
- Jaw ache
- Pain while chewing
- Tooth pain after eating or drinking something sweet
If You Suspect You Have Cavities
If you do suspect you have a cavity, don’t put off going to the dentist. You may be concerned about the procedure of filling a cavity, but the longer you wait the more likely it is you will have to have extensive work done. Not all cavities require a root canal!
In fact, telling your dentist you have a concern soon enough will not only prevent the need for major treatment, but may allow treatment as simple as using a topical fluoride. However, leaving a cavity untreated can produce severe results. Untreated cavities can lead to:
- Broken teeth
- Loosing teeth
- Root canals
- Thousands of dollars of dental work
The idea of a cavity leading to death may seem extreme, but before modern dentistry, it was not only a possibility, but a reality. It is the early treatment of cavities that keeps you able to eat and drink normally and helps you to avoid deadly infections.