The Risk Factors
There may be some things you do every day that increase the risk of developing a cavity such as:
- Keeping poor oral hygiene. When you do not clean plaque away with brushing and flossing, it will continue to produce acids that eat away at tooth enamel.
- Eating lots of sugary foods, frequently snacking, or sipping soda throughout the day gives oral bacteria a lot of sugar to feed on.
- Having a dry mouth from either medication or problems with salivary gland. This means there is less saliva in your mouth to neutralize acids and bring in minerals that rebuild tooth enamel.
- Having heartburn or purging from eating disorders puts harmful stomach acids in your mouth.
- Drinking only bottled water may mean that you aren’t getting enough fluoride since most bottled waters don’t have it added. Fluoride is key in protecting and strengthening tooth enamel.
Sometimes, it may be difficult to tell if you have a cavity. However, there are some signs of tooth decay that you can look out for, including:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Pain when you bite down
- Black, brown, or white stains on your teeth
- Visible holes in the teeth
Getting a cavity treated as soon as you can will help prevent further problems from developing. Treatments include:
- Fluoride treatment using a gel, foam, or varnish if the decay is very little.
- Drilling away the decay and placing a filling in the tooth.
- Putting in a crown, performing a root canal, or extracting the tooth if the decay has gone too deep.