What are Cavities?

Dr.Alan Wishneff Boca Raton Florida Dentist Dr. Alan Wishneff D.D.S.
Restorative Dentistry / Oral Health
December 15, 2015

Cavities can form as a result of tooth decay. Tooth decay is when the structure of a tooth starts to destruct. Tooth decay affects the enamel and the dentin on the teeth. Enamel is the outer coating of a Dental cariestooth and the dentin is the inner layer of a tooth. When food particles containing sugars and starches are left on the teeth too long, tooth decay starts to form. Bacteria that live in the mouth digest the food particles and turn them into acids. After this happens, the bacteria, acids, food particles and saliva combine to form plaque. Plaque sticks to the teeth and starts to dissolve the enamel on the surface of the tooth. This will create hole in the teeth known as cavities.

When people think about cavities they generally think they occur most often in children. Children are notorious for getting cavities due to bad brushing and sugary foods. But many adult problems can also lead to cavities. Older people can form a recession in their gums and this can lead to an exposure of the roots. Exposed roots leave the gums vulnerable to plaque. Many adults who already have a filling in their mouth are susceptible to decay forming on the edges of the fillings. With age, teeth grow weaker and can fracture allowing bacteria to accumulate in crevices, leading to tooth decay and cavities.

Most cavities can be found during your regular dental check-ups. The dentist can find a cavity because the surface of the tooth will feel soft when probed with dental instruments. X-rays can also find cavities if they are between teeth. These are harder to find with the naked eye. If the tooth decay becomes advanced, then you might start to feel a toothache. The toothache can be felt more when consuming sweet, hot or cold foods and drinks. Other signs of tooth decay are visible pits in the teeth.

The key to the fight against cavities is to continue healthy dental habits. Brush your teeth twice a day and make sure to floss daily. Keep going to visit your dentist for regular exams to keep the teeth clean and to help look for any damage.

For more information about this topic or any other dental topic, contact Dr.Wishneff  at [email protected]or call (561) 488-3111Dr. Alan Wishneff is a Boca Raton Dentist dedicated to bringing patients state-of-the-art dental care. As a cosmetic, family and restorative dentist, he helps patients enjoy a natural and healthy smile. He is trained in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers; advanced cosmetic bonding techniques; oral surgery; medical emergency procedures; advanced crown and bridge; advanced TMJ; implant dentistry; endodontics-root canals: utilization of most advanced dental materials. Dr, Wishneff and staff are dedicated to providing great smiles in Boca Raton for more than 30 years. After more than two decades of practicing dentistry in Boca Raton, Dr. Wishneff is more committed than ever to this community.

Image: I, ISebestyen [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons