Cavities and Tooth Decay | Smith Dental Nashville

Cavities and Tooth Decay

What Are Cavities?

Cavities, also known as dental caries, are areas on the hard surface of your teeth that have been permanently damaged. Caused by a variety of factors, these unsightly, sometimes painful holes in your teeth will continue to grow if left untreated.

Causes of Dental Cavities

Cavities are caused by a variety of factors, but the more common causes include the following:

  • Sugary drinks
  • Sugary snacks
  • Remaining debris on tooth

When food particles remain on your teeth, they turn into an acid that breaks through the tooth's armor, also known as enamel, and causes tiny holes or pockets known as cavities.

While cavities are unfortunately rather common, they can lead to major issues if left untreated. Cavities can grow and impact deeper layers within the mouth, causing more trouble by leading to the following effects:

  • Headaches
  • Toothaches
  • Infections
  • Tooth loss

Young children experience these painful impacts of cavities when they do not practice proper brushing techniques. For teenagers and older adults, cavities form because of the same above issues, but softened enamel also contributes to the cause of cavities.

Preventing Cavities

Preventing cavities is fairly simple.Here’s the best prevention method – practice proper brushing techniques. What does this mean?

  • Brush after each meal
  • Floss once per day

By consistently brushing your teeth after each meal, you prevent food from sitting in the gaps between teeth or settling on top of your teeth. The food must be removed from the surface of teeth and hard-to-reach spaces to avoid cavities.

Although this is great for day-to-day routines, regular dentist visits are recommended. Our Smyrna dentists and hygienists have the proper dental equipment to ensure no food has been left behind and can also help remove tartar buildup on each tooth's surface.

Is it time for your routine dental exam? To be sure our Smyrna patients have to cavities, we encourage you to schedule an appointment. Call us at 615-83-SMILE or visit the page below.

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