What is a Cavity?

A cavity is a hole that can grow bigger and deeper over time. Cavities are also called dental caries, and if you have a cavity, it's important to get it repaired.

But why would your tooth develop a hole? Blame plaque. That's a sticky, slimy substance made up mostly of the germs that cause tooth decay. The bacteria in your mouth make acids and when plaque clings to your teeth, the acids can eat away at the outermost layer of the tooth, called the enamel.  Plaque likes to forms in cracks, pits or grooves in the back teeth, in between teeth, around dental fillings or bridgework, and or near the gum line.

Early cavities may not have any symptoms. Later, when the decay has eaten through the enamel, the teeth may be sensitive to sweet, hot or cold foods or drinks. If the decay isn't treated or stopped, it will continue to grow and cause a toothache and ultimately an infection known as a dental abcess.

A dentist will look for cavities at each office visit. The dentist will look at the teeth and may probe them with a tool called an explorer to look for pits or areas of damage.

Your dentist will take X-rays of your teeth. They can show newly forming decay, particularly between teeth. They also show the more advanced decay, including whether decay has reached the pulp and whether the tooth requires a root canal.

Some dentists also use high-tech devices such as lasers to detect cavities. Under many conditions, these devices can detect very early tooth decay.

It's best to visit your Evansville, IN dentist- Dr Jenkins- regularly to detect any changes to your teeth.



A Woman's Touch Dentistry

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