Tooth decay, otherwise known as cavities, is one of the most common human diseases. Do you know how a cavity can be obtained? What’s it like? You may also need to know how to remove cavities? All of these things, you can find by listening to the article What does a small cavity look like.
Cavities in the teeth are not a pleasant sight. In addition to the ugliness it represents, it also affects a person psychologically. When cavities are more than just black stains on your teeth, you should be extra careful with the cleanliness of your teeth.
What is a cavity?
The cavity is damage or hole that occurs on the surface of a tooth. It doesn’t sound too bad, but the problem is it’s more than just a hole.
Everybody has some bacteria in their mouths. If you think about the numbers, it’s pretty disgusting. There are between 1000 and 100,000 bacterial cells per tooth at any given time.
Bacteria in the mouth are generally harmless, except for one small detail. They use the sugars we eat for metabolic processes, especially fermentation. A byproduct of metabolism is acid. That’s where the cavity problem comes in.
So here’s what happened. Bacteria stick to the teeth and perform a normal metabolism, then produce acid. Although there is a tooth email, which is the hardest material of the human body, it has one major drawback, namely acidic liquid.
Acid can soften emails creating an increasingly deep hole in the emphasis on progressives. Once the cavity is formed, a person can not brush the bacteria out of the cavity. This allows the cavity to develop deeper and deeper into the teeth. Although the cavity begins even without being visible, if left long enough, it can destroy the entire tooth.
How do I know if you have a cavity?
The following symptoms are listed as a progression to know if you have cavities at an early stage versus and may have cavities that have not been treated for a long time.
Teeth discoloration darkens
No wonder many people want white teeth. Although most of them want white teeth for cosmetic reasons, there are other reasons behind them. It shows health. The cavity is most easily recognized because the color is not the same as other teeth. The cavity area is often very dark or brown. The color indicates that the enamel is decomposing. Healthy enamel is light and hard, and the cavity is dark and soft.
Holes or fractures in the teeth
A cavity starts with a small discoloration, but as it develops more teeth are affected. The teeth become soft in the cavity area and begin to come off. Parts of the tooth may disappear close to cavities that have been developing for more than a few years.
Sensitivity to heat, cold, or sweetness
Tooth enamel is the outermost skin that protects the pulp and nerves, located deeper in the tooth. As the decay continues, the dentine becomes open. When you have a cavity, you may notice that certain areas of your mouth feel sensitive when drinking something hot or cold, or even when consuming sweet foods.
Pain when bitten
When the protective coating is disturbed, the inner layer of sensitive teeth is less protected from normal weaning pressure. If there is a cavity in your teeth, you may have sensitivity when chewing or biting. In the opposite situation, this will feel normal.
Bubbles or swelling of the gums
When tooth decay lasts a long time, it finally makes a tunnel to the tooth pulp. Once the bacteria reach the pulp, nerves and blood supply to the teeth are exposed to the bacteria, until an infection occurs. Dental infections are called dental abscesses.
Dental abscesses are a way of the body stopping the pressure of infection from the teeth. It usually forms at the root end of the tooth and causes swelling of the bones and gums in the area, eventually creating bubbles under the gums.
A cavity creates an unclean surface on the teeth where bacteria can live excessively. It can also make pus from dental abscesses. Both of these conditions can cause unpleasant odors. Even if you try to brush your teeth or use mouthwash, you cannot access the area that produces the smell effectively once the cavity has disturbed the area.
What does a cavity look like?
Cavities are also known as dental caries that can develop over time. You may not be able to see at first, but if left untreated, cavities can cause visible damage to your tooth enamel.
Cavities can develop when bacteria, acids, saliva, and food particles combine inside the mouth to make plaque. Plaque is a sticky layer that covers the surface of the teeth.
Cavities are a common infectious disease. Cavities are the second most prevalent infectious disease after the common cold.
What does a small cavity look like?
A small hole is what is usually left after the cavity has developed. The color of the cavity can vary from white to yellow and has a slightly dark blue color. Sometimes the cavity can be brown or black. Cavities that are more than slightly white may notice that tooth decay develops inside small holes. Smaller cavities can be filled with various materials such as calcium carbonate, amalgams, salts, and other minerals depending on the dentist’s preferences.
What Are Untreated Cavities Like?
Cavities usually do not look like holes and appear in small places. You may be able to know that it is a cavity of its color and shape.
Cavities can be black, white, or any color in between. All cavities will eventually turn black, as the enamel around the cavity decays.
Cavities have various shapes, including irregular or asymmetrical which tend to have curves rather than straight edges. The shape of the cavity will change with its growth.
If left untreated, cavities can turn into painful infections. Bacteria can enter the cavity, and get into the inside of the tooth and eventually get to the root of the tooth. Infections cause pain, fever, bad breath, and can cause visible signs, such as swelling of the face and neck.
What does a cavity feel like?
If you experience sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods that you did not have before, you may suspect there is a development of cavities in the mouth. If the cavity is limited to email, you may not experience tooth sensitivity as there is no evidence of nerves ending up in the email part of the tooth.
But as the cavity gets deeper and extends to the dentine layer of the tooth, you may begin to experience sensitivity. This occurs because of the nerve endings present in the dentine layer of the teeth. The email layer can be eroded due to excessive consumption of acidic beverages or due to incorrect brushing techniques. In this case, also you may feel the sensation of the teeth.
Pain when eating or drinking
In the early stages of tooth decay, you will not experience any toothache. But at a later stage, you may start to experience a toothache. This is because tooth decay may have extended to a part of the tooth’s soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp is rich in blood supply. Bacteria in the rotting part can enter the bloodstream and circulate through to cause infection.
At this stage, you will start to have a toothache. The pain will only appear when food nests in the cavity, but then the pain mostly worsens at night.
At this point simple filling will not be efficient, so the dentist recommends root canal treatment to save teeth and relieve pain.
If root canal treatment is not performed for infected pulp, it can cause an advanced disease that is swelling. The first swelling is seen near the teeth on the gums with or without pus discharge, but at a later stage, the swelling can extend to the face if left untreated. At this stage, pus drainage is ideal for limiting the spread of infection.
Discomfort with the gums
You can see several cavities on the surface adjacent to the next tooth or the proximal surface of the tooth. In this case, the food gets into the gums causing inflammation or discomfort of the gums. Some people use toothpicks to remove food particles, but this can exacerbate gum irritation.
When Will You Know if You Have Cavities?
When you go to the dentist for a routine check-up, the doctor will most likely perform an X-ray of the teeth and other areas. You will be able to know what cavities look like at the moment because your dentist will be able to tell you if your decay is developing.
Some decay will not affect your teeth and other cavities will be more noticeable than others. If you think that you may have a cavity, you must know what the cavity looks like before you fill it or decide to pull out the tooth. This way you will be able to get the right treatment early on.
What to do If I Have Cavities?
It’s simple. If you experience slight discomfort, give it a few days with an over-the-counter painkiller, and see if it improves. Don’t worry. Maybe it’s just passing sensitivity that sometimes happens. However, if the mild discomfort persists for more than a week or two, you should contact the dentist to evaluate it.
And if you experience severe throbbing pain, contact your dentist immediately. They will prescribe antibiotics to help reduce infections and plan to treat the area.
Who is at higher risk for developing cavities?
- A child with bottle feeding at night. This is because the sugar content in milk can cause the accumulation of bacteria and thus cause caries of nursing bottles.
- People live in poor socioeconomic status while living in areas with drinking water supplies that do not contain fluorine.
- Those who use drugs that lower saliva flow have a higher incidence of developing cavities.
- Some with eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa.
- Patients with stomach-related problems such as GERD hyperacidity.
- People who drink a lot of carbonated drinks and acidic drinks. People who are undergoing radiation therapy.
- People under radiation therapy have reduced saliva flow resulting in an increased incidence of cavities.
How to treat Cavity?
Treatment of cavities will be adjusted to the severity of the condition experienced by the patient. Some medical measures that can be taken to overcome cavities are:
Fillings replace parts of the tooth that are missing due to cavities. The holes left in the teeth left by dental caries still contain the bacteria that created the cavity. If left unchecked, decay continues to spread and can damage tooth enamel.
The procedure involves cleaning the decay inside the teeth, usually with a drill. Eliminating decay prevents further damage, but does not repair the damage done to the tooth enamel. That’s where the patches come in. The dentist will form fillings to fit the shape of the surrounding teeth.
There are several types of basic fillings, including those made of metal mixtures, known as amalgams, and those made of composites, gold, or porcelain. Amalgam fillings look like black spots on teeth, white composite or porcelain fillings are more like real teeth.
Sometimes the cavity is larger than the surrounding teeth, making it very difficult to fill. In this case, the dentist may suggest placing a crown over the filled tooth. The crown is a fitting “hat” that looks and feels like real teeth.
X-rays help dentists get an idea of what a cavity looks like from the inside. X-ray results are used by dentists to assess the depth and severity of cavities. In addition, x-ray results also help your dentist determine the best treatment for cavities.
In new cavities, the doctor will provide fluoride that is higher in content than is commonly contained in the toothpaste. Fluoride treatment can be given in liquid, gel, or foam form. This therapy can improve enamel and prevent tooth holes from getting bigger.
Patients can use fluoride independently by applying it to the teeth or using it as toothpaste. However, generally, the doctor will pair fluoride with a device that matches the shape of the patient’s teeth, so that it can be ensured that all surfaces of the teeth are coated by this substance.
Root canal or root canal treatment is done if the damage has reached the inside of the tooth or the root of the tooth. This action aims to repair the damage without having to pull out the teeth.
Tooth extraction is done if the damage is already very severe and can not be restored. Tooth extraction can be followed by the installation of dentures or dental implants, to fill in the gaps in the removed tooth marks.
Complaints arising from cavities need to be checked immediately and treated to the dentist. However, if you have not had time to go to the dentist, several ways can be done at home to relieve pain, namely:
- Keep your teeth clean by brushing all your teeth, including cavities, even if they feel tender.
- Use warm water to brush your teeth.
- You can use a toothbrush that is specially designed for sensitive teeth.
- Avoid hot or cold foods and drinks.
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- Consumption of painkillers that can be purchased at pharmacies, such as paracetamol.
What are the home remedies to prevent cavities?
The best way to prevent cavities is to maintain oral hygiene. These are some of the steps:
- Brush your teeth twice daily, once in the morning and one before you go to bed at night.
- Along with brushing your teeth, flossing to remove food particles attached to the gums.
- Reduce consumption of acidic drinks and sticky foods containing excessive sugar. If you want to drink acid, drink with a straw.
- Use sugar-free gum or xylitol-containing gum for people with reduced saliva flow. There is an increased incidence of cavities in those with reduced saliva flow.
- People with deeper holes and gaps on the surface of the teeth get a preventive feeling done.
- Avoid snacks between teeth.
In addition to the above precautions, you are also advised to consume the following foods and beverages to maintain dental health:
- Fruits and vegetables rich in fiber, such as apples, spinach, and cucumbers
- Calcium-rich foods, such as cheese and nuts, include dairy products.
- Low sugar gum containing xylitol
- Black tea or green tea without sugar/sweetener
- Drinking water containing fluoride