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What are Dental Cavities? The Causes and Signs of Dental Cavities: Explained by Dentist in Vienna

March 4, 2014

Filed under: Dental Care — Tags: , , — monarchsmiles @ 5:05 am

 Pain due to dental cavities may range from mild to severe, depending on their decaying stages. In some cases, if the decay progresses slowly, a patient may feel no pain. In some rare cases, pain in the cheekbones and pain in the ears have also been noted. However, the question arises, what are dental cavities and how they are caused?

Dental Cavities are holes in the teeth, caused when the teeth begin to decay due to food particles being left on the teeth. Also referred to as Caries, dental cavity is caused due to bacteria in the mouth that produce acid and become plaque, which eats away at the teeth. It is a good idea to visit the dentist at the earliest as only a dentist can ascertain whether you have dental cavities or not. Treatments for cavities include dental filling for normal cavities and dental crowns for advanced tooth decay.

How Does a Cavity Form?

There are two major factors that contribute to tooth decay – bacteria in the mouth and intake of a diet that is high in sugar and starch. Normally, there are more than 500 different types of bacteria present in the mouth. These bacteria merge with food and saliva, to form a sticky substance known as plaque, which sticks to teeth. Foods rich in starches add to the stickiness of the plaque, which starts to get solid if it stays on the teeth for a couple of days and transforms into calculus or tartar. Bacteria in the plaque convert sugar into acid that dissolves the tooth structure causing holes. Because of these two factors, dental cavity is also described as “Dietobacterial” disease.

The areas where plaque can accumulate more easily are believed to be the most vulnerable to tooth decay. Plaque tends to settle into the pits and fissures in the tops of teeth, next to the gum line, and into the areas in-between the teeth. Where there is a plaque, there are bacteria and acid, and ultimately, destruction of the tooth surface. The dental cavities begin in the outer layer of a tooth, then gradually penetrate deeper, and finally enter into the softer inner layer of the tooth (Dentin). Normally, it isn’t until the decay reaches the dentin that a person will start to notice symptoms and signs of the cavity.

10 signs of Dental Cavities

When a cavity penetrates deep into a tooth, it may generate increased sensitivity to foods that are cold, hot, or sweet. However, not all cavities will cause a toothache. The top 10 signs of dental cavities are mentioned as follows:

1.    Chalky or Opaque Spots on the Teeth:

In a healthy tooth, the outermost layer of enamel is glassy and transmits the color of the healthy dentin underneath it. The course of decay begins with the elimination of minerals, especially calcium from enamel causing in chalky spots.

2.    Food Getting Stuck Between or On the Teeth

This is one of the most common complaints people have, experiencing dental decay. As the decay produces “holes” or cavities on the upper surface of the teeth or the sides, the fissure between the teeth is enlarged. This in turn, causes food to get stuck between the teeth. When you floss your teeth, you will notice that the floss gets frayed easily.

3.    Inability to Chew Properly with Certain Teeth

Pus is formed, when tooth decay penetrates into the innermost part of the tooth, nerves, and the periodontal space. This leads to unbearable pain while biting on the affected tooth/teeth.

4.    Highly Sensitive Teeth

Sensitivity is one of the most common signs of dental cavities. Sensitivity to cold foods is a sign that the tooth is still alive, but sensitivity and pain while eating hot foods may be the sign of a dead or dying tooth. Meet your dentist immediately.

5.    Chipping Off or Fracturing of Teeth

While chewing anything moderately hard, if your teeth chips off, then it may be a sign of dental cavity. When decay penetrates to dentin, it weakens the overlying enamel, which makes the enamel vulnerable to fractures.

6.    Darkening of Teeth

Darkening of teeth is an early sign of dental decay.  Normally, when the decay enters the pulp, there is a lot of destruction of the dentine. The dead pulp produces certain pigments, which makes the teeth look dark.

7.    Bad Breath

If the food getting stuck between your teeth is not removed, it starts to decay and releases putrid smell giving you Bad Breath.

8.    Blood on Your Toothbrush

In the case where the cavity is formed between two teeth, there is a chance for the underlying gum tissue to grow in the area. While brushing, this tissue can get injured and bleed.

9.    Appearance of New “Gaps” Between Teeth

If the cavities in amid the back teeth are big, in due course of time, the teeth can shift, leading to appearance of gaps between the front teeth.

10. Swelling of Gums

When decay enters the pulp of a tooth and then advances to the tissues surrounding it along with the bone, it produces pus. This can cause swelling in the gums and should be treated immediately.

Find a Dentist for Fast, Painless Cavity Filling & Treatment

Most patients fear dental clinic, but our skilled dentists in Vienna perform cavity filling with the utmost care. Thanks to our decades of experience, we are experts at performing even deep cavity fillings, instantly and gently. Further, as we understand that most of our clients experience anxiety about cavity filling, we do everything to offer them the most relaxed atmosphere.

Our experienced dentists in Vienna, Virginia, will talk to you during the entire cavity filling treatment, let you know what exactly we’re doing every step of the way, and always prioritize your comfort. To know more about the skilled and qualified dentist in Vienna, please visit: https://www.monarchsmiles.com/meet-the-doctors.html

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