Brunette woman in a plaid shirt cringes in pain and touches her cheek because of a cavity

What Is a Cavity?

January 20, 2021 8:00 am | Published by

Although you may know that you don’t want a cavity, you may not know exactly what it is. One of our goals at Vista Ridge Family Dentistry is to educate patients about dental disease and how to prevent it. Tooth decay is one such oral health issue we hope to help you avoid. In this blog post, we give a basic introduction to cavities!

Cavities 101

As the name suggests, a cavity is a little hole that develops on the surface of your teeth. These holes can get larger and deeper over time if they’re not treated by a dentist. You may also hear cavities referred to as caries or advanced tooth decay.

What Causes Cavities?

Tooth decay begins as demineralization of your enamel, the outer layer of your teeth that is composed of various minerals. When your mouth bacteria feast upon your dietary sugar, they produce acidic byproducts that dissolve your enamel. The bacteria and acids need to be brushed, flossed, and rinsed away to allow your enamel to remineralize. If the weakened enamel cannot adequately reharden, it becomes permanently damaged in the form of a cavity. Cavities do not repair themselves; they require fillings or root canal therapy.

Cavity prevention is one reason why it’s so important to maintain a regular schedule of brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist. Daily cleaning of your mouth helps prevent bacteria from permanently damaging your teeth. And at your routine teeth cleanings and preventive checkups, we will evaluate your mouth for tooth decay and make recommendations for any necessary treatment.

Signs of a Cavity

Sometimes an untreated cavity can cause a toothache, tooth sensitivity, or brown spots on your teeth. But the best way to determine whether or not you have a cavity is to see a dental professional.

Consult with Our Team!

If you have more questions about cavities, we’re happy to answer them. At Vista Ridge Family Dentistry, we’re committed to helping our community enjoy a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles. Contact us today to speak with a member of our team or to book your next appointment at our Cedar Park dental office!

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