You’ve been hearing about the dreaded cavity since you were a child. It starts innocently a sugary delight and then morphs into a bacterium monster, with acidic fangs looking to dig into your tooth enamel. Although you are familiar with cavities, you may still may not be aware of all the warning signs that one exists. Your Lansdowne dentist is here to clear any confusion, though. Learn what to be on the lookout for.
What is a Cavity?
Deriving from the Latin word cavus, meaning hollow, a cavity is a small hole that starts in the tooth enamel. It comes about when harmful bacteria are allowed to accumulate on your tongue and teeth. These bacteria have a special affinity for sugar, as they feed on it and then grow in the warm environment of your mouth. If not properly removed, they become acidic and begin to attack your enamel.
The Stages and Signs of a Cavity
There are a few signs to be aware of that alert you of a cavity:
- The Initial Stage – In the first stage of cavity development, you may not notice anything because only the enamel has been penetrated. This is the best time to catch the encroaching problem through a dental examination, and nip it in the bud.
- The Cavity Invade the Dentin – The dentin is the softer area of the tooth that is beneath the enamel. It is also surrounded by nerves. Therefore, when the cavity gets to this stage, you can expect to feel discomfort. You’re likely to feel some pain from eating sugary, hot or cold foods.
- More Severe Damage – If the problem is allowed to persist further, you may notice visible holes in your teeth, as well as black, brown or white stains on their surfaces.
How to Prevent a Cavity
Thankfully, you don’t have to endure cavities. There are ways to prevent them from forming. One of the mainstays that you’ve probably been hearing since childhood is to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. Well, this remedy stills hold true. Your other powerful weapon against cavities is your dentist in Lansdowne. By scheduling a visit every six months, you will be able to catch any cavities before they manifest into the hideous attackers of your oral health that they are capable of becoming.
About the Author
Wael Elosta, DDS, FAGD graduated from dental school in 2000 and then completed two years of general practice residency at Louisiana State University. He has also received advanced training in several fields, including implant dentistry, Invisalign orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Elosta is also a member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, the State if Virginia Dental Association and the American Dental Association. He practices at Lansdowne Family Dental and can be reached through his website.