Dental cavities are hole in the teeth caused by tooth decay. Cavities are also referred to as caries. When a cavity advances deep into the tooth, it may produce increased sensitivity to foods that are cold, hot or sweet. But not all cavities cause toothache. If they are small or progressing slowly, they may only be detected by a dentist before they cause pain. If the cavity gets large enough, part of the affected tooth may break off and leave a hole.
HOW IS CAVITIES DIAGNOSED?
A dentist can detect a cavity by using a sharp instrument to feel tooth structure that has been softened by tooth decay. If a cavity forms in between the teeth, it may only be visible on an X Ray. Other diagnostic tools that are used to detect cavities include ultrasound, fluorescence, or fiberoptic transillumination.
HOW IS CAVITIES TREATED?
There are three things to consider in the treatment of dental cavities: Prevention, remineralization and restoration. Prevention is basically avoiding further decay and also using a filling to cover the hole . Remineralization is reversing the shallow cavities by treating with a substance that contains fluoride or calcium. When a cavity is too large for remineralization, restoration of the tooth is done through root canal treatment and then capping it using an artificial crown.
DID YOU KNOW?
By making simple changes in diet and hygeine, dental cavities can be prevented.