Cavities | The Ultimate Guide (Content Hub)
Matt Hannan, DDS
Updated: January 14, 2024
Cavities affect 35% of the world’s population and are the most common health condition according to Global Burden of Disease 2019.
Lack of preventative resources, access to care, and education contribute to this growing oral health concern.
This article is the content hub for cavities and is divided into seven sections. Each section links to original blog post containing more details and information.Related: Learn more about Cavities
What Is a Cavity? What Causes Rotten Teeth?
In a nutshell, rotten teeth occur when bacteria consume sugars, leading to acid production and tooth destruction.
Multiple factors contribute to this process, including three significant factors; host (person), flora (bacteria), and carbohydrates (sugars). In addition, other factors contribute to the cavity formation process, including saliva flow, time, and genetics.
What Does a Cavity Look Like? (20 Pictures)
Are you concerned you have a cavity? Do you know what a cavity looks like? Cavities come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Some cavities are easily visualized when you open up, while others form in hard-to-reach areas.
X-rays are regularly taken when you visit the dentist to screen for tooth decay between your teeth. Do you know the most common signs and symptoms of a cavity?
How to Fix a Cavity: Treatment Solutions & Costs (2024)
So your dentist informed you that you have a cavity, now what? Is your head spinning as they rattle off different treatment options? Determining how to fix a cavity requires contemplating treatment options, including a filling, inlay, onlay, or crown?
Is your cavity waking you up at night and causing spontaneous pain? If so, you may need a root canal. We all know dentistry isn’t free, so you will have to pay up; just how much is the question. Treatment costs are variable and change depending on many factors.
Can You Reverse a Cavity? (5 Simple Steps)
When you think of a cavity, most immediately think about how much it hurts and how much it costs. Fortunately, there are ways to reverse or heal a cavity before it progresses to an irreversible stage.
You may be wondering how this is possible? Cavities occur when bacteria form acid, which degrades the tooth surface.
When the cavity begins this process, it attacks the enamel first. During this stage, the enamel surface breaks down.
However, there’s no hole in the tooth, yet. If a cavity is discovered during this stage, fluoride application treatments can be administered to reverse the cavity process.
12 Cavity Risk Factors (Best Treatment)
Did you know that some people are more prone to develop cavities than others?
All teeth are created equal however some individuals possess risk factors that lead to cavities such as dry mouth, low salivary flow, high-frequency carbohydrate intake, etc.
Understanding these risk factors can help you guard against future cavities. Also, we highlight the available treatment to reverse tooth decay.
10 Simple Steps to Prevent Cavities (Dentist’s Perspective)
Most cavity risk factors are out of our control because of genetics or anatomical issues; however, you can modify some risk factors to help prevent cavities.
For example, did you know it’s not about how much sugar you eat; it’s about how often you consume sugar that leads to tooth decay.
The more frequently sugar bathes the teeth, the more opportunity the bacteria have to use this as their food source and produce cavity-causing acid.
Why Does a Cavity Hurt? (5 Toothache Home Remedies)
Cavities can be a real pain. Each tooth has a delicate nerve in the center that relays helpful information to your brain, such as temperature, pressure, and irritation.
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria attack your body (tooth).
This irritation elicits a reactionary response, warning your brain that danger is present. Without a pain response, we would cause irreversible harm to our teeth or body.
My Experience & Expertise
This guide highlights appropriate cavity treatment, remedies, and information.
We answer common related questions, so you are fully informed the next time you visit the dentist. Circle back to this content hub, home base. Good luck!
Need a second opinion? We can help! Learn more. Knowledge is power when cultivating healthy dental habits. The more informed you are, the better positioned you’ll be to prevent avoidable and potentially costly dental procedures for you and your family. Watch for future blog posts, where we’ll continue sharing important information, product reviews and practical advice!
- Queen Mary, University of London. Billions worldwide suffer from major tooth decay. ScienceDaily, 30 May 2013.
- Wen PYF.Global Burden and Inequality of Dental Caries, 1990 to 2019. J Dent Res. 2022 Apr.
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Hannan, also known as “Dr. Advocate,” is a board-certified dentist on a mission to provide accurate dental patient education. He attended Baylor University before completing dental school at UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry. He now lives in Arizona with his beautiful wife and 4 kids. Dr. Hannan believes everyone should access easy-to-read dental resources with relevant, up-to-date dental research and insight to improve their oral health.
Connect with Dr. Hannan!
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