The dreaded cavity: every patient wants to avoid the annoyance and discomfort associated with cavity development. The good news is that with diligent dental hygiene care, you can significantly lessen your likelihood of suffering from cavities. The first step in this process is to understand how and why cavities develop in the first place. Our Saint Louis dentists are here to provide with you that important information.
What is a cavity?
A cavity is a portion of a previously healthy tooth that has developed an infection. A cavity is a weak spot on a tooth. Once a cavity has taken hold, it can spread throughout the rest of the tooth; it can even infection gum tissue and bone tissue.
Why does a cavity form?
Every day our teeth are exposed to all kinds of substances that can break them down. Acidic substances, for example, weaken dental enamel and may make it more likely that a patient will get cavities. The oral bacteria in your mouth are always searching for a way to infiltrate your dental enamel (the white shiny part of your tooth). When the enamel is weakened—either by certain substances, or because the bacteria in your mouth have grown too strong—bacteria will take root in your enamel.
What can I do to stop this?
The best thing for you as a patient to do is to take steps to prevent cavity development in the first place. This means following all of your dentist’s oral hygiene advice, and completing regularly scheduled professional cleanings. It’s also a good idea to avoid, as much as possible, sugary and carbohydrate-rich foods. Finally, drink plenty of water so that your body is able to produce saliva, which helps fight bacteria.
If you think that you may currently have a cavity, our Saint Louis dentist office is here to help you reclaim a healthy smile. Give us a call to get started right away!