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May 08 2011

Do You Think You Have a Cavity?

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A cavity in a tooth is a pit that has been formed by plaque build-up which produces an acid to chip through the enamel, and is a cause of tooth decay. Tooth decay is influenced by the kinds of foods we eat, the attention we pay to our teeth and the amount of flouride in our drinking water and toothpastes. As a dental practice management consultant, studies have shown and some of my clients have confirmed that tooth and gum disease is often hereditary as many people inherit tooth problems that have been passed down from previous generations from within their families.

 

People who are at risk for cavities are those who eat a lot of starch or sugar and who might not maintain their teeth. Adults who suffer from dry mouth are at risk for cavities as they have a lack of saliva in their mouth. Dry mouth is often caused by smoking tobacco, or medications, illness and radiation treatments and are unable to keep their mouths moist, which is instrumental is preventing cavity formation.

 

Cavities are a problem that are not to be taken lightly, and if left untreated, can result in the destruction of the tooth. This can also destroy the nerves as well, resulting in an abscess. An abscess is critical as it infects the root tip. If left untreated, an abscess can eventually result in death. Although you may not realize it, what might be a minor cavity in the beginning can escalate to a serious problem later on.

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If you visit your dentist Pittsburgh PA on a regular basis, he will check for cavities. Without visiting the dentist, it is impossible to tell whether or not you have a cavity. Most cavities develop below the gums, and you won’t be able to see them. If the cavity exists in the tooth, you will be able to see it, as it will change the color of the affected area. If you notice a color change or a blackened area in your tooth, you should make an appointment with your dentist immediately.

 

What you eat is a big contributor to cavities. If you eat a lot of sweets or drink a lot of soda, you will be at a higher risk for cavities. Foods that are rich in sugar or starch are eaten by bacteria found in plaque, which will produce acids that eat through teeth. This acid is very harmful to teeth, as it can eat through the dentin and enamel in no time at all. If you don’t do something about it, the acid will continue to eat at the tooth until there is nothing left, leaving you no choice but to get the tooth extracted.

 

Cavities will more than likely develop in the pits of chewing areas around the back teeth, between your teeth, or near the gum line. No matter where they occur, the easiest way to spot them is to visit your dentist. Your dentist Pittsburgh PA will be able to do x-rays and find out just how bad they are and tell you what options you have. If you visit him in time, he will be able to save the tooth and stop the cavity before it spreads throughout your tooth.