Your mouth is a busy place. Dental cavities are common, affecting over 90% of the population.
Signs & Symptoms
Three possible indications that you have a cavity are toothache, tooth sensitivity to sweet, hot or cold foods or drinks, or pain when chewing.
There are a variety of ways to help prevent cavities which include:
- Brushing and flossing daily; this will help reduce the amount of dental plaque and bacteria in your mouth.
- Eating sugary or starchy foods less often during the day to help reduce the amount of tooth-damaging acids in your mouth.
- Use of fluoride toothpaste, which strengthens teeth, as well as fluoride treatments provided by the dentist or taking fluoride supplements as recommended by the dentist.
- Using antibacterial mouth rinses to reduce the levels of bacteria that cause cavities.
- Chewing gum that contains xylitol; this can help decrease bacterial growth.
Small cavities may not cause pain, and may be unnoticed therefore regular check ups are very useful.
In adults, dentists can apply sealants on molars that have early signs of tooth decay, as long as the decay has not broken through the enamel. Once the enamel has been irreversibly compromised, your dentist will have to fill the tooth. In more serious cases, a root canal may be necessary.