Common medical questions and answers through blogs and articles

What is A Cavity?

If you have ever had a cavity, you probably already know that a cavity is essentially a hole in your tooth. But, what you may not be aware of is that a cavity or tooth decay is something that happens over time – have it be weeks, months or years, a cavity doesn’t just soda up overnight, it’s something that is ongoing and eventually turns into a cavity. Most people think that when you get a cavity, it’s the end of the road, but did you know that you can actually interrupt, slow, reverse or completely stop the decaying process? It’s true. Anyone can do this, no matter your age.

What Is In Our Mouths?

This is actually a gross idea to think about, but it’s something you need to consider. Our mouths, no matter how much we brush our teeth and use mouthwash, are full of bacteria. In fact, our mouths house around 100 different kinds of bacteria that live on our tongues, teeth, the roof of our mouths, gums, etc. Like most bacteria in your body, some of the bacteria in your mouth is healthy and helpful and can help fight other bacteria’s. On the other hand, the bad bacteria can cause things like tooth decay. Foods we eat and drinks we drink counteract with the sugars in these foods and drinks and mix with the bad bacteria and create an infection. The acid, over time, can create a cavity in the tooth.

How Does A Cavity Develop?

When you eat a lot of sweets or drink a lot of soda, they create acids. The acids essentially attack your teeth and eat the enamel off of your teeth – enamel is like a shield for your teeth, but when it’s gone and the acid starts to eat away at your teeth, your teeth will start to decay. Once you have a cavity, it’s there unless it gets fixed. There is no “magic” way to make a cavity away unless the Dentist repairs the tooth, drills out the cavity, and replaces the empty hole with a filling. If the tooth is really bad, the Top Dentist may tell you they have to pull the tooth and replace it with a fake one.

What Are Sealants?

If a person has bad teeth already or has a family history of bad teeth or a person has something such as esophagitis, the dentist can actually place a sealant on the teeth. The sealant is made from a thin synthetic plastic coating – the coating is painted on to the teeth. These sealants are very beneficial because they coat all of the little nooks and crannies in your teeth – grooves, edges and spaces between your teeth. So while other people get food stuck in between these areas, a person that has the sealant on their teeth would not have this happen because it’s an entire “sealant” or block on the teeth. This is also a good way to keep bacteria from getting in between the teeth and between the grooves as well.

Foods You Shouldn’t Eat

If you want to keep cavities away watching what you eat and drink is a good place to start. Here are the things you should stay away from:

High in sugar and starch: Children tend to be more prone to getting cavities than adults. The reason? Most children’s diets include 90% of foods that are high in starches and sugars. Make sure you stay away from candy, cakes, desserts, pop/soda, etc. If you do eat these foods once in a while, make sure you brush, floss and place mouthwash in your mouth as soon as you are done and be sure to get into all the spaces, creases, gaps and grooves between and on your teeth where acid likes to hide.

Acid foods and beverages: Things like soda, citrus drinks and fruits as well as sugary and acidy fruity drinks can cause the formation of cavities. They are very high in acid. Make sure if you do eat these foods and drinks that you don’t do it before bedtime. The acid can actually stay in your saliva and will eat away at your teeth while you sleep – even if you do brush your teeth.

Sticky foods: Foods such as chewy candies, gummy candies and caramels should not be eaten at all to be honest. These really stick to your teeth, between the grooves and any cracks you may have in your teeth and it’s very hard to get it off! Make sure, as with the above things, that if you do eat these types of foods that you brush your teeth really really well!

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