What is a cavity?
A cavity is an open pathway in the tooth which is caused by bacterial invasion. In the dental world, it’s referred to as a carious lesion. The severity of the cavity/carious lesion will determine which type of restoration is needed.
How would I know if I have a cavity?
If you experience pain in the tooth, more than likely it can be attributed to bacterial invasion/cavity. However, keep in mind that tooth pain can be attributed to several other factors such as periodontal (gum) disease. The best way to tell if you have a cavity is to visit the dentist. Sometimes, cavities occur between our teeth, and the only way to determine its presence is on a radiograph/x-ray.
What can be done to prevent cavities?
Brush, brush, and brush some more!! If you brush 3 times a day, or even better, after each meal, you will remove food debris and other agents that act as magnets for bacteria. If you are unable to brush that often, be sure to chew gum with Xylitol after your meals. This will aid in remineralizing your enamel after a meal, and neutralizing your mouth’s pH, thus making it stronger and more resistant to bacterial invasion.
Also, try to stick to a healthy diet whenever possible. A diet filled with processed foods and sugary drinks can quickly lead to cavities and other oral health issues.