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Cavities are one of the most common ailments plaguing people in today’s modern age. Thankfully, they are also preventable. Cavities occur when harmful bacteria in the mouth react with sugar and starches from food, creating acids which wear down tooth enamel.
You might not notice cavities in their early stages, which is why keeping dental checkups helps to catch them early on. Once you can feel pain more extensive intervention will be required to fix the damaged tooth.

Three Types of Cavities:

Smooth surface cavities
Smooth surface cavities form on the outside smooth sides of the teeth. They are the most preventable and most easily reversed. Developing slowly, they first appear as a white spot as bacteria dissolves the calcium on the enamel. These typically start in adult teeth between the ages of 20-30.

Pit and fissure cavities
Pit and fissure cavities show up on the narrow grooves of the chewing surfaces. They can show up in the teen years, growing quickly. They are hard to reach and subsequently hardest to clean. This is a good time to consider dental sealants to cut back on these cavities.

Root cavities
Root cavities occur on a tooth’s root surface. You see these more commonly in adults past middle age and who have receding gums. Low saliva production, poor oral hygiene, and a diet high in sugar and starches contribute to these.

Fluoride can be used to help in the early stages of tooth decay. As decay spreads inside the tooth it will need a filling to drill out the decayed material, and to fill the space left behind and preventing bacteria from getting in.

What you can do:

–Twice a day tooth brushing.
–At least once a day flossing.
–Fluoride toothpaste to strengthen tooth enamel.
–Seeing your dentist every six months and possibly dental sealants for your molars.
–Eating a healthy diet and limiting snacking and sweetened beverages.

If you would like more information, or to schedule a dental cleaning, please give the dental team at Sweeney Utterback Dentistry a call at 757.222.3737 today!