You hear the term “cavities” so often that, eventually, the weight of the word can lose some of its gravity. However, if you develop one, then the seriousness of what a cavity is and what it means for the future of your oral health can suddenly become much clearer. A cavity, which describes a hole in your tooth, is caused by tooth decay—a bacterial infection in your tooth’s structure. Decay is a more apt description as the hole will continue to grow larger the more the infection spreads through your tooth.
What’s Inside a Cavity?
There are over 600 different kinds of oral bacteria that make up dental plaque, the sticky film that accumulates on your teeth. Of these, certain bacteria produce acids that directly attack the enamel that protects your teeth. When enamel erodes, oral bacteria can infect the more sensitive underlying structure, decaying the tooth and causing a cavity to form. The key to stopping decay is to remove the harmful bacteria and infected tooth structure from within the cavity. Then, your dentist can fill the cavity with a biocompatible filling, restoring its strength and integrity.
The Best Ways to Avoid Cavities
The good news is that cavities can fairly simple to treat once they’re detected. Even better news is that they can usually be prevented by practicing excellent hygiene and attending regular checkups and cleanings with your dentist. Despite the potential seriousness of tooth decay, the oral bacteria that cause it can be controlled before enough of them can accumulate to threaten your healthy teeth.
Find Out How Serious Your Cavity Is
If you have a cavity, then ignoring it could put your dental health at serious risk. To find out how serious your cavity is and how best to treat it, schedule a consultation by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL, at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of West Forest Lake, Kennedy, Lake Bluff, Skokie, Junction, and all surrounding communities.