Have you noticed a dark spot on one of your teeth? Could this be a cavity on your tooth? What exactly is a cavity?
A cavity forms when a tooth breaks down and decays. It creates a hole in the tooth that grows deeper and larger in time. Everyone has bacteria in their mouth and when a person eats foods with a lot of sugar, a sticky, slimy, and acidic substance called biofilm (plaque) forms from the bacteria and sugar. Biofilm sticks to the teeth and if not removed from brushing and flossing, a cavity can form.
Often times, cavities have no symptoms when they first form. If they begin to form on a visible tooth surface, they will initially look like a white or discolored spot and then if left to progress further, they will begin to break through all the layers of the tooth. At that point, you may start to have sensitivity to sweets, hot or cold foods and drinks, a bad taste in your mouth and/or bad breath.
If left untreated, the cavity could progress deeper to eventually destroy the tooth all the way down to the nerve. In these cases, you could have a very painful toothache. Sometimes, cavities form between your teeth and the only way to know you if have a cavity between your teeth is to go to your dentist regularly and have dental x-rays taken.
Your dentist can see if a cavity is forming between your teeth on the x-rays. Otherwise, those cavities can’t be seen by just looking in your mouth. So if you think you have a cavity, visit your dentist as soon as possible.
Posted on behalf of:
Dr. Farhan Qureshi, DDS
5206 Dawes Ave
Alexandria, VA 22311
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