What Are Cavities?

What Are Cavities?

As your child becomes responsible for their oral health, it's crucial to educate them about common dental issues, particularly cavities or dental caries. Communicating the importance of proper dental care in simple terms is essential, and we're here to help. Here's a guide to explain what cavities are, their causes, and how to prevent and treat them.

Understanding Cavities:

A cavity, or dental carie, is an area of decay or disease on a tooth. It's often signaled by sensitivity or sharp pain when pressure is applied to the affected area, presenting as a small hole or opening on the tooth. Additionally, bad breath or visible stains on teeth can indicate cavities.

Causes of Cavities:

Cavities stem from bacterial action. Tooth decay occurs when parts of the tooth deteriorate due to inadequate oral hygiene.

  1. Formation of Plaque:Tooth decay initiates with the formation of plaque, a clear, sticky layer covering teeth. Plaque accumulates from leftover food debris, particularly when teeth are not cleaned properly. Bacteria thrive on sugar present in food debris, leading to acidic plaque formation.
  2. Damage to Enamel:With inadequate brushing, plaque accumulates, leading to damage of the outer protective layer of the tooth, known as enamel. This erosion creates small holes in the enamel.
  3. Progression to Dentin:As acidic plaque persists, it progresses to damage the softer layer beneath enamel, called dentin. Dentin protects the tooth's nerves.
  4. Reaching the Pulp:Continued bacterial progression through dentin eventually reaches the tooth's inner layer, the pulp, housing nerves and blood vessels. Contact with bacteria causes inflammation and swelling, resulting in severe pain. Left untreated, cavities can lead to bone infection.

Treating Cavities:

Although cavities can be painful, they're common and treatable. Dentists diagnose and repair cavities by removing decayed portions of the tooth and filling the cavity with special materials.

Cavity treatment is painless as dentists numb the affected area before the procedure.

By understanding cavities and maintaining good oral hygiene, your child can prevent and address cavities effectively. Regular dental check-ups are vital for early detection and tr