Cavities are the result of plaque building up on the tooth and eroding away at it. As the plaque continues to build, the decay eats away at the enamel and, if left untreated, it will continue to eat away at the dentin or the core of the tooth as well. It can continue down to the nerve and cause the nerve to die. It can also attack the root and then canal into the bone.
Cavities are preventable. If a patient practices good oral hygiene such as brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, maintaining a healthy diet, drinking and eating plenty of calcium rich foods and beverages and attending regularly scheduled checkups at the dentist, then they can be prevented or at the very least found when they are in their earliest stages and easiest to treat.
Cavities are a very commonplace occurrence. Most of the time, they do not affect much more than the enamel and can be taken care of by minimal procedures in the dentist’s office. However, the procedures required to correct this problem will depend on how long they have been present and how much damage they have caused to the teeth or tooth.
The symptoms of cavities range from no symptoms at all to sensitivity to hot and cold or even breathing in and out. The more serious types of decay may cause extensive pain that is usually described as throbbing. If left untreated, infection in the form of abscesses can set in. This can be extremely dangerous because this infection sac could burst and infect other teeth that have minor decay. It can also lead to problems if the patient’s immune system isn’t strong because of other health issues.