Teeth cavities are caused by tooth decay. Tooth decay can affect the outer tooth surface (enamel), the middle section (dentine) and the centre of the tooth (the pulp). The more layers involved, the more severe the damage is.
Natural bacteria living inside the mouth forms plaque, which interacts with debris from starchy and sugary food and turn them to acid. The acid dissolves the enamel over time and causes cavities. If the cavities are not addressed early on they involve more layers of the tooth. This can lead to severe tooth decay, infection and tooth loss in the long term.
Anyone can get dental cavities at any age. Older adults tend to have dental cavities around the edge of their fillings, senior people develop cavities due to a lack of fluoride in their teeth at an earlier age.
Dentists can find cavities during routine dental check ups with the use of x
If you are diagnosed with tooth decay a dentist can remove teeth and fill the cavity with filling material. Nowadays these tend to be white fillings such as composite resin or porcelain that match the colour of the teeth.
If most of the tooth is lost, dental crowns are used instead of fillings. Crowns are made of porcelain fused to metal and gold.
If the root, the innermost part of the tooth, is damaged then a root canal treatment is needed. The nerve of the tooth will be removed, blood vessels, tissue and the decayed part of the tooth. They will fill in the root with some materials. The tooth with this treatment needs a crown.
If you have not had a dental check
Please get in touch if you are concerned about any aspect of your dental health. We will treat you fairly and honestly - and we look forward to being able to help you.