Dental Cavities: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention


Dental cavities, caries, or tooth decay refer to a widespread oral health problem that targets different people of all ages worldwide, says an Orange Park general dentist. Cavities, while seemingly a small inconvenience, can have serious consequences if left untreated. Decay that continues to grow and spread will eventually result in tooth loss as well as affect our overall health through systemic problems. In this ultimate guide, we are going to discuss everything about dental cavities — including the causes of dental decay (cavities), and its signs and symptoms.

What are the Causes?

Dental Caries: Plaque accumulates on the teeth and leads to dental cavities quite frequently. A sticky film of bacteria forms on the tooth surface, especially in areas where food particles are scavenged

Bacterial Acid Production: The ingestion of sugars and carbohydrates in our diet through foods and beverages is metabolized by oral bacteria that produce acids that eat away at the tooth enamel, creating microscopic holes or cavities.

Bad oral hygiene: Lack of proper brushing, flossing, and rinsing which helps in the growth of plaque on the teeth leads to a higher risk of cavities.

Dietary considerations: Besides this, a high-sugar diet and the habit of frequent snacking may also lead to enamel erosion and the development of cavities. So it is always better to avoid acidic food or drinks too since they cause similar effects as well.

Dry Mouth: “reduced saliva flow which can be caused by medication, certain medical conditions, and breathing through your mouth. Saliva is the body’s natural defense for teeth to help prevent cavities”.

What are the Symptoms?

Tooth Sensitivity: Being sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet acidic things can also be a sign that you have cavities if they last for long or increase more frequently.

Toothache: As the decay and cavities advance and attack the inner layers of the tooth, you may experience persistent or occasional toothaches as they spread in mild to severe pain.

Visible Holes or Pits: By the advanced signs of decay, you can see the cavities as dark spots, holes, or pits appearing on a tooth’s surface that reside near the gums and in between two teeth.

Tooth discoloration: If the color of a tooth changes to a white, brown, or black spot. It is evident that demineralization of enamel and cavity formation has been started

Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth: It can be due to bacterial byproducts of food leftovers caught on cavities where decay may occur and create halitosis as well, commonly known as bad breath.

It is important to know the causes and symptoms of dental cavities to prevent them in the future.