What causes a cavity? Have you ever had one? What can be done in order for it to be fixed?
A cavity is a weakened area of the tooth that eventually becomes a hole caused by acid produced from bacteria in the mouth. Cavities can be caused by many things including sugar, carbohydrates, and sticky foods. This happens when those foods stick to the teeth and cause bacteria to grow.
Everyone has bacteria in their mouth, even Dr. Kuiper! Certain people have different types of bacteria with more acid and can be more prone to developing cavities.
Regardless, whenever you get a cavity, the best thing you can do is to get a filling to replace the weakened or softened part of the tooth. Left unchecked, cavities will grow. If allowed to grow long enough, this can lead to toothache, infection, and worst case scenario, tooth loss. Cavities will always grow, regardless of whether or not you are experiencing pain. Eventually, a cavity can reach the nerve of the tooth which causes a whole different set of problems! However, if diagnosed early enough, placing a filling is often the best bet to restore and fix the tooth. On average, cavities are able to be filled with filling material, but sometimes may need a little more. Typically, fillings last 5 years but may last up to 50 years, depending on the situation.
What can you do to prevent developing cavities? Your best option is going to be choosing healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, cheese, and nuts. Continue brushing twice a day for 2 minutes each and remember to floss! Seeing your dentist every 6 months will help keep your teeth clean and healthy and your dentist can detect any cavities very early on to prevent experiencing pain.
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