People of all ages can get cavities. Practicing good oral hygiene can prevent tooth decay, which is why we emphasize the importance of brushing, flossing, and getting routine dental cleanings. Dr. Xi Sun, DMD is a trusted family dentist in Norfolk, MA who can help protect your teeth against cavities and provide effective cavity treatment.
What Is Tooth Decay?
A cavity, also known as dental caries, forms when acids in the mouth erode tooth enamel. Tooth decay can also affect the inner layer of the tooth called dentin. The associated signs and symptoms of cavities vary based on the person, size of the cavity, and location of the cavity.
Many people do not even know they have a cavity until they experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain or toothache
- Sensitive teeth
- Holes, pits, or indentions in the teeth
- Brown, black, or white tooth stains
- Pain or sensitivity when biting down
Common reasons why cavities form are poor oral hygiene, sugary foods and drinks, a lack of fluoride, dry mouth, eating disorders, and acid reflux, to name a few.
Types of Cavities
There are three common kinds of cavities: root cavities, pit and fissure cavities, and smooth-surface cavities.
- Root cavities occur on the surface of the tooth’s root and typically affect those with receding gums or older adults. When the gums recede, the root is exposed and susceptible to bacteria and decay.
- Pit and fissure cavities form on the grooved chewing surfaces of the teeth. Plaque and food can get stuck in the grooves and ridges, increasing the risk of decay.
- Smooth-surface cavities can be found in the flat exterior surfaces of the teeth. This type of cavity is slow-growing and can be resolved with the help of fluoride treatments.
Cavity Prevention and Treatment
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 91 percent of Americans have a cavity in their teeth. Tooth decay may be common, but it’s very preventable and treatable with the assistance of a dental professional.
An untreated cavity can lead to other oral health issues, such as dental pain, tooth loss, bacterial infections (abscesses), dental damage, chewing difficulties, and more.
Schedule an Appointment at Our Norfolk Dentist Office!
If you have a cavity, don’t wait until it’s too late to fix it! Dr. Xi Sun, DMD offers high-quality cavity prevention and treatment for patients of all ages near Norfolk, MA. Whether you need a filling, root canal, or dental crown, we can ensure your smile remains healthy and strong.