While there are many treatments and procedures to prevent or remove dental cavities, many people wonder about what cavities are. Dr. Kenneth Pilgrim has provided some basic information about cavities to give you a better understanding of your oral health and how to protect your smile. For more information and to schedule your appointment with our caring dentist in Flintstone, Georgia, please contact us today at 706-820-0413.

Cavities, also known as dental caries, are a type of decay. Tooth decay is when harmful bacteria in the mouth eat away the enamel and dentin of the tooth, creating holes and pits in the tooth. If left untreated, these cavities can cause significant pain and may even lead to tooth loss. Symptoms of tooth decay include:

  • Pain
  • Bad breath
  • Sensitivity or discomfort to hot, cold, or sweet foods

Because pain is one of the final symptoms of cavities and does not manifest until the decay is in a more advanced stage, cavities may go unnoticed for some time. This is one of the reasons why routine dental checkups are important. Receiving dental cleanings and exams at regular, six-month intervals allows our dentist to detect and diagnose cavities in the earliest stages of development, when they are easily treatable. However, the best way to deal with cavities is to prevent them. We strongly encourage you to practice good oral hygiene at home – floss daily and brush your teeth at least twice each day. Our dentist and hygienist will be happy to review your oral hygiene routine with you and make recommendations on how you can improve it to better protect your teeth.

When caught early, cavities can be treated with a dental filling, in which the decay is removed and the gap filled with a silver or tooth-colored material to replace the lost enamel and dentin, and to give your tooth a smooth, natural feel. If left untreated, a tooth with decay may require a root canal or an extraction.