What Causes a Cavity?

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Did you know that only about one percent of the population is immune to tooth decay? For the vast majority of us, developing a cavity is a common problem. Of course, we don’t always understand why we suffer from tooth decay or what we can do to prevent this issue. At A New Smile Dental Group, our dental experts discuss the common factors behind cavities.

The Causes and Symptoms of Tooth Decay

Our teeth are coated in a thin but powerful layer of enamel. Tooth enamel acts as a barrier, safeguarding our smile against harmful bacteria. A cavity forms when this layer is weakened, exposing the more sensitive inner structure to bacteria. A variety of factors can cause enamel to erode, including:

  • Consuming foods and drinks high in sugar and other starches
  • Not brushing or flossing properly or often enough
  • Not enough access to fluoride
  • Smoking or using tobacco products
  • Dry mouth

If you do develop a cavity, you may not notice until your teeth become sensitive to cold or hot temperatures. Eventually, you may experience a toothache. Over time, the cavity continues to grow, potentially leading to an infection that requires a root canal procedure or even extraction to address. You should always see the dentist when you experience tooth sensitivity or a toothache.

Repairing a Cavity

How do you fix a cavity? The most common solution involves a dental filling. Made from either amalgam (metal) or composite resin, fillings repair the decayed portion of the tooth. First, we will remove the decay and thoroughly clean the tooth. A filling material will then be added and cured with a special light. Once complete, your tooth will be protected against further decay. Most patients prefer the composite fillings, which can be shaded to blend seamlessly with the tooth structure.

About Your San Fernando Valley Dentists

At A New Smile Dental Group, our dentists strive to offer each patient individual care and access to the latest in modern dentistry at an affordable price. If you would like to schedule a consultation, contact us at our San Fernando Valley office at (818) 897-5771. We proudly serve communities in Pacoima, San Fernando, Porter Ranch, Granada Hills, Sylmar, and Mission Hills.