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What do you know about cavities? Did you know parents can actually spread cavity causing bacteria to their children through kissing and sharing eating utensils? Cavities are created when harmful bacteria in the mouth react with sugar and starches from the food you eat. This reaction results in acid that wears down tooth enamel. In the early stages of a cavity, you cannot feel pain so it may go undetected. After it advances in decay, you will be able to feel it and by then will need intervention to repair the damage.

There are three types of cavities:

Smooth surface cavities
–These tend to develop on the outside smooth sides of the teeth.
–They are typically easiest to prevent and to reverse, and develop slowly.
–These occur mainly in adult teeth between 20-30 years.

Pit and fissure cavities
–These develop on the narrow grooves of the chewing surfaces—the molars.
–These show up as early as the teen years.
–They grow quickly and are hard to reach to clean.

Root cavities
–These cavities develop at the front of a tooth’s root.
–They are normally seen in older adults.
–Common in people who have receding gums.

In the early stages of a cavity, fluoride can strengthen the tooth enamel. As decay reaches the inside of a tooth it will require a dentist to drill out the decayed material and put in a dental filling.

Preventing cavities often boils down to your lifestyle habits, although heredity can have some impact. Make it a priority to brush and floss twice a day. Use a fluoride toothpaste if your dentist recommends it, and don’t skip those dental cleanings! Your dentist might recommend dental sealants to protect your back teeth. Eating a healthy diet from the recommended food groups and limiting snacks and sweetened beverages can go a long way to keeping you cavity-free.

To find out more about what you can do, or to schedule a dental cleaning, please call Dr. Bethaney B. Brenner’s dental team at 860-673-7155 today!