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Your teeth are the hardest substance in your body but that doesn’t mean they can’t be damaged! When deterioration happens, your dentist utters those dreaded words, “You’ve got a cavity.”
A cavity is the most common oral disease. It’s a small hole in your tooth caused by the buildup of plaque (a sticky substance that grows on the surface of your tooth). Plaque contains acid producing bacteria that eat away the enamel (the hard outer coating of your tooth). Eventually, the plaque penetrates the enamel and reaches the dentin (the second and more porous layer of your tooth). This is when you start to feel pain or sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks. If left unchecked, the bacteria will turn your dentin into a brown mush!
There are many factors that can contribute to the formation of your cavity.
When a cavity is just beginning, you may not have any symptoms. As decay progresses the symptoms become obvious. Sensitivity, discoloration, pain, a chipped tooth, swollen or bleeding gums, bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth and a visible hole are all signs of a cavity.
How can I avoid getting a cavity?
No need to worry! There are many things you can do to reduce the possibility of developing a cavity.
Enamel can repair itself! If the damage is minor, enamel renews itself by using minerals from saliva (phosphorus, vitamin D, Vitamin K2, magnesium and calcium) and fluoride from toothpaste. You can assist this remineralization by eating foods such as mushrooms, eggs, grass fed beef, salmon, broccoli, dairy and eggs and by brushing daily. If the damage has already penetrated the enamel, a filling is needed to seal and disinfect the cavity. You will need to see a dentist for this procedure which involves drilling away the decayed portion of the tooth and replacing it with a filling made of porcelain silver, gold or amalgam.
If you think you have a cavity or you want advice on how to prevent tooth decay, call Centennial Smiles at (587) 317‑7959.