The destruction of dental tissue by the presence of acids produced by bacteria found in the mouth, in combination with food. Generally, they do not hurt and can be restored with various aesthetic materials.
From Dental Clinic Dra. Claudia Vargas Dal Santo we can give you a precise diagnosis of where your teeth are and whether or not you have cavities, make an appointment for a checkup of the state of your teeth.
Depending on the severity of the injury, caries can present different symptoms. In its initial state it does not present any symptoms, and it is seen as a small, almost imperceptible spot.
In its more advanced stages, symptoms can be:
- Pain produced by some stimulus such as chewing or consuming sweet foods.
- Spontaneous onset pain with no apparent cause.
- Hypersensitivity or pain to cold and heat.
- Dark spots or holes on tooth surfaces.
On some occasions, the lesions appear in the small spaces between the teeth and can only be discovered through radiographic examinations.
Some of the bacteria present in the mouth consume and metabolize the sugar residues that remain after eating. This produces a reaction that demineralizes and erodes the tissues of the tooth until visible holes are created.
There are certain factors that favor the formation of cavities because they increase the amount of bacteria or decrease the defenses of the teeth against this disease.
Some of these factors are:
- Dental calculus
- nutritional deficiencies
- lack of fluoride
- low salivary flow
- Inefficient tooth brushing
Since dental caries does not produce symptoms in its early stages, it is essential to visit the dentist regularly for cleaning and check-ups.
It is recommended to schedule an appointment at least once a year. However, in cases of patients with an important risk factor such as diabetes or low saliva production, follow-up appointments are recommended at least twice a year.
If you see any black spots or feel a hole in a tooth, consider going to the dentist as soon as possible.
If left untreated, the decay will continue to progress until it creates further destruction.
This can result in:
- dental infections
- Severe pain that interferes with daily life.
- Tooth loss and, as a consequence, alterations in the position of the other teeth.
It is essential to understand that carious lesions generally grow in a pyramidal pattern with the base located toward the center of the tooth.
This means that the cavities are usually larger than they appear to the naked eye.
Good oral hygiene and regular dental appointments are enough to prevent cavities.
Some prevention recommendations include:
- Dental care: Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a fluoridated toothpaste, and complement it by using a mouthwash and dental floss at least once a day.
- Balanced diet: Provides the necessary nutrients so that the teeth can stay healthy.
- Reduce sugar consumption: Sugar is the greatest risk factor in the appearance of cavities.
With the right knowledge, it is possible to easily prevent cavities and maintain good oral health.
Even if you don’t notice it, tooth decay could be present and damaging your teeth.
If you have a cavity in a tooth, don’t waste time and remember that not treating it in a timely manner can lead to the loss of the piece, ask for your appointment to make sure you are healthy and free of cavities.