Tooth decay and cavities are among the world's most common oral health problems. These problems are most often seen in children, teenagers and older adults. However, anyone can get cavities.
Dental cavities, also referred to as caries, are holes in the teeth caused by tooth decay. Decay usually occurs due to a bacterial infection that causes demineralization and destruction of the hard tissues in the teeth.
Certain factors can increase the risk of getting cavities, including foods that cling to your teeth for a long time, frequent snacking or sipping, poor oral hygiene, not getting enough fluoride, dry mouth, worn fillings or dental devices. Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia can also contribute to serious dental problems due to repeated purging.
The signs and symptoms of cavities vary, depending on the type and the severity of the problem. Some common symptoms include toothache, tooth sensitivity, mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking, visible holes or pits in the infected tooth, and black, brown or white stains on the tooth's surface.
If cavities aren't treated, they can lead to severe toothache, infection and even tooth loss. Some of the treatments for tooth decay and cavities are fillings, crowns and root canals.
The first step toward preventing cavities and stopping existing cavities from becoming worse is to take good care of your teeth. Brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes twice a day, in the morning and before bedtime. Floss once a day and also clean your tongue daily.
There are also some natural remedies that can help provide relief and maintain good oral health. Also, consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
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