Cavities also commonly known as tooth decay is holes or spaces in the teeth. The main reason for cavities is a plaque. Plaque is a thin coating of bacteria that line the teeth. Brushing and flossing twice a day is done to remove plaque. The bacteria present in the plaque gorges on the sugar in the foods we consume and produce acids that weaken the tooth enamel. Enamel, the covering to protect our teeth gets eroded because of these acids causing cavities. Treatment of teeth by a dentist is needed when holes are developed.
Cavities are very common among children, but they can happen to people at any age. It is also common among
People living in places where fluoride is not present in drinking water
People under medication or undergoing chemo
Alcohol, tobacco and drug users
Individuals who consume sugary food and drinks in large quantities.
What causes cavities among people with normal diet?
Cavities can be caused due to:
Presence of bacteria in the mouth
Consumption of High Sugar and starch foods
The presence of small amount of bacteria in the mouth is normal, but when this combines with food rich in sugar and saliva to form a plaque. If plaque stays on the teeth for a few days due to poor oral hygiene, it converts to tartar.
When plaque and tartar convert sugar to acid, cavities are formed. This acid then decays the hard structure of the tooth and over time creates a hole in the tooth called the cavity.
As the cavity increases, if left untreated it can reach the pulp and cause a toothache which gets worse when exposed to hot or cold food or drinks. Bad breath or bad taste in the mouth can be one of the symptoms of cavities.
Having good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing teeth at least twice a day.
Having teeth cleaned by a professional every six month
Reducing sugary food and drinks in your diet.
Minimizing snacking and avoiding sugary drinks and not sucking on candy can help as they produce acid in the mouth.