What Does It Mean If I Have a Tooth Cavity?

What Does It Mean If I Have a Tooth Cavity?

A tooth cavity is tooth decay, meaning you have a hole in a tooth. It’s also called dental caries and is generally caused by bacterial buildup in your mouth. Everybody has mouth bacteria that are found in a sticky layer of dental plaque that coats your teeth. Whenever you eat something rich in sugars or carbohydrates, the bacteria in plaque turn sugars into acid. Over time, these acids gradually erode tooth enamel, which is the hard, outer coating on teeth that normally protects the tooth against decay. As your tooth enamel weakens, it exposes the dentine underneath, and which is more easily destroyed by bacteria. Eventually, bacteria can reach the tooth nerve, by which stage you will probably have a very nasty toothache.

Preventing Cavities

Anyone can have tooth decay, but it is preventable with good oral hygiene. When you brush at least twice a day and floss every day, most of the dental plaque in your mouth is removed. Regular hygiene appointments remove hardened plaque, a substance called tartar from your teeth. During your dental checkups, we can carefully assess your teeth for any signs of tiny lesions or pits that could indicate tooth decay.