A tooth cavity is a hole that forms inside the tooth. This process happens gradually sometimes taking years before the cavity becomes apparent. Initially, tiny holes form on the enamel allowing bacteria to access the dentin, and eventually, the pulp. Common symptoms of tooth decay include sensitivity, pain, stains, and visible holes on teeth. Below are factors that heighten the risk of tooth cavities:
Bad oral hygiene
Not brushing your teeth and flossing encourages the build-up of bacteria and plaque on the surface of your teeth. To negate this, brush your teeth twice a day. Flossing is just as essential; make a habit of flossing once a day to remove food particles stuck between the teeth.
There are specific food and drinks that cling to your teeth such as honey, dried fruit, cakes, ice cream, dry cereal and mints. Regular consumption of these foods and drinks puts you at risk of developing plaque that will erode the enamel with time. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep their consumption to a bare minimum.
Certain health conditions lead to increased acidity in the mouth. For example, Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) triggers production of acid which may create an acidic environment in the mouth. Psychological conditions like bulimia induce vomiting, and this too increases acid levels in the mouth. Saliva can efficiently counter acidity, but some medical issues can reduce the production of saliva.
Dental appliances and fillings
Appliances like braces may lose their grip and stop fitting well over time. This could leave spaces where food particles can hide and plaque forms quickly because it is difficult to clean underneath the devices. Dental fillings may also weaken over time, and this paves the way for plaque to form in the exposed cracks increasing the risk of a dental cavity.
Shape of teeth
Some people have deep pits and fissures that make it possible for bacteria to hide. As the bacteria build up, a cavity develops. The shape of teeth is mainly a genetic matter, so people whose teeth have deeper groves need to be more vigilant in dental hygiene.
Everyone is prone to developing cavities if they do not see a dentist regularly. Tooth cavities are painful, and most patients end their misery by yanking out the sick tooth. Regular visits to the dentist will mitigate such issues by detecting enamel problems at the onset and treating them accordingly.