Dental caries, better known as a cavity, are the number one cause of tooth loss with over 3 million cavities reported each year. Because cavities are so prevalent, it is important to know how to identify, prevent, and treat them. Luckily, cavities and tooth decay can be discovered early and treated to avoid potential problems in the future.
Causes of Cavities
Cavities can have many causes, including:
- Improper oral hygiene and care
- Diets high in sugars and starches
- Lack of fluoride
- Drug Use
- Chronic diseases or medications that inhibit the production of saliva
Depending on the cavity, your dentist has several options available for treatment. Smaller cavities can be treated with a dental filling. Fillings can replace the decayed tooth with a composite material to restore functionality. Larger cavities may require the use of a dental crown, which will be placed over the tooth after the decay is removed to provide a solid structure for continued tooth health.
The best way to treat a cavity is to avoid getting them in the first place. Luckily, there are a few easy steps you can take to help avoid cavity formation.
- Follow your dentist’s instructions and brush twice a day
- Floss at least once a day
- Limit high sugar and starch foods
- Schedule a dental exam every six months
- Schedule a professional dental cleaning at least once per year
Cavities are very common, but they should not have to affect your life. If you are suffering from a cavity in St. Thomas, schedule an appointment with our office today.