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Dental Cavities (Caries)

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Dental cavities are also known as dental ‘caries’ (Latin for ‘rot’), or tooth decay.  When food particles, plaque, sugars and acids are left to sit on your teeth for too long, bit by bit they will damage the hard surfaces of the tooth,  which allow bacteria and food particles to enter the tooth.  As this process continues, the buildup can cause the formation of a dental cavity.

Symptoms of Dental Caries

Dental cavities may or may not have direct symptoms.  However, some of the most common associated with dental caries include:

  • Toothache or sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Visible holes or pits in your teeth
  • Brown, black or white staining on the surface(s) of the tooth
  • Pain when you bite down

Cavities can form on any surface of the tooth.  They can even form between two teeth. This is often a result of improper or infrequent oral hygiene routine that includes regular brushing and flossing.  Most people are not aware that a cavity is forming. That’s why it’s important to have regular dental checkups and cleanings, even if your mouth feels fine. If you experience toothache or mouth pain, it is always best to visit 1st Family Dental for an evaluation as soon as possible.

If left untreated, dental cavities will allow more and more bacteria inside of the tooth, causing increasing decay.  This can result in dental emergencies such as pain, infection, abscess, or loss of the tooth. Treating dental cavities is a very routine and simple procedure called dental filling. Dental fillings are a common dental treatment, easily completed in a single office visit.

Tooth decay is one of the most common diseases in the world, second only to the common cold.  They are also one of the most preventable.  Following a good and effective oral hygiene routine for adults and children, plus visiting 1st Family Dental for regular checkup and cleaning visits every 6 months, is the best possible way to prevent dental cavities, or to quickly diagnose and treat them so you can get back on with your life.

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