What are dental cavities?

When we talk about cavities, we're referring to a breakdown of the tooth structure. Cavities are formed when a tooth breaks down, usually due to the acid attack from bacteria in our mouth.

What causes cavities?

The primary cause of cavities is the acid from the bacteria present in our mouth. This acid is harmful to our teeth, and if it's in excess, it can lead to the formation of cavities.

How does a dentist check for cavities?

We employ several methods to detect cavities. One of them is visual inspection, as cavities often cause a noticeable change in the color or appearance of the teeth. We also use x-rays and certain kinds of scanners that detect changes in the tooth's density.

What are the stages of a cavity?

A cavity starts at a stage referred to as incipient, or early stage cavity. If left untreated, the cavity continues to grow and breaks down more of the tooth. This progression can be seen on x-rays and felt when checking the teeth with our instruments.

Can a cavity spread to other teeth?

Yes, cavities can spread from one tooth to another, particularly those in close proximity to a decayed tooth.

Is it possible for cavities to go away?

Once a cavity forms, it's basically going to be there unless we can remove it. There are rare instances where early stage cavities can potentially be reversed using certain treatments.

How do you stop a cavity from progressing?

Maintaining good oral hygiene and limiting sugar intake can sometimes slow the growth of the cavity. However, once a cavity forms, it generally continues to grow.

How long do cavity fillings last?

The longevity of a filling depends on your personal hygiene regimen at home. The better you are about keeping your teeth as sugar-free as possible, the longer the fillings can potentially last.

Can dental cleanings prevent cavities?

Dental cleanings play a significant role in keeping your teeth clean and healthy. Regular cleanings tend to result in lower rates of cavity formation.

What should I do if I suspect I have a cavity?

If you suspect that you have a cavity, the best course of action is to contact our office so we can conduct a check.

Where can I reach you if I have more questions or if I'm ready to take action?

You can reach our office at (916) 848-2145. We're here to help.