Common Causes of Dental Cavities

Common Causes of Dental Cavities

Dental cavities are holes in the two outer layers, the enamel and the dentin, of a tooth. Cavities are caused by tooth decay that results from damage to the tooth structure. Bacteria in the mouth consume the simple sugars from food, thus converting them into acid plaque. This plaque builds up and causes the outer tooth layers to soften, dissolve with saliva, and leave the cavity hole in the tooth. Unless it is properly filled by a dentist, the cavity can erode and cause considerable damage to the inner nerves of the pulp.

Symptoms of Cavities

In most cases, cavities are asymptomatic and may go unnoticed by the person. When patients visit the dentist for a check-up, they will conduct a comprehensive exam to search for warning signs of cavities or decay. For those in advanced stages, there may be some unpleasant symptoms that alert the individual to the presence of a cavity. When consuming hot, cold, or sweet foods, there will be tooth sensitivity in the affected tooth. Some teeth may show visible signs of cavities too, with holes or pits in the surface.

Treatment for Cavities

Affecting over 90 percent of the population, cavities are common among all age ranges. When cavities occur, there are a number of different treatment methods. If it is in an earlier stage of decay, the dentist will remove the decayed portion and replace it with a filling. However, if the decay is more extensive, dentists usually opt for fitting a crown over the remaining part of the tooth. It is important to act fast to protect the structure of the tooth, so contact our Los Angeles dentist immediately.