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Tooth Cavity: Causes, Signs, Types, and Treatments

Tooth Cavity

No one likes having an aching tooth. For some, it’s the worst kind of pain that they don’t want to happen ever. Thankfully, toothaches caused by cavities are easily preventable.

What Is a Cavity?

Let’s define what a cavity is. A cavity is a hole in a tooth that is caused by tooth decay. Tooth decay is when your tooth has damage around the surface or enamel. It usually happens when the bacteria in your mouth make acids that attack the enamel. When the acids in your mouth wear down or erode the tooth, cavities occur. Cavities are considered one of the most common chronic diseases that can affect any person at any age.

The Causes of Cavities

Since cavities can happen to any person at any age, different factors can also cause the development of cavities. Cavities in children can develop if they are not brushing correctly and are consuming more sugary foods and drinks.

For adults, they may have receding gums that expose the lower parts of teeth to cavity-causing plaque. Others may develop decay around the edges of cavities treated in childhood.

But whatever the case, the cause of cavities is mainly because of bacteria in the mouth. When you eat sugary, starchy foods and drinks, the bacteria in your mouth convert these carbohydrates into acids. Once the bacteria, acid, food, and saliva are mixed, they can form plaque that coats your teeth.

It’s essential to brush and floss your teeth properly so that you can prevent cavities caused by bacteria from happening.

Signs of Cavities

There are various signs that point to a cavity. However, the signs and symptoms may differ from person to person and the severity of the cavity. When your decay progresses into the dentin and root, you are more likely to experience noticeable signs like these:

  • Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Bleeding gums or other signs of gum disease
  • Facial swelling
  • Toothache or mouth pain
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks
  • Redness around or inside the mouth

Once you experience one of these signs, you must consult your dentist right away so they can provide the proper course of treatment.

The Types of Cavities

Generally, most people have a strong outer layer of tooth enamel. Cavities can take three years to form in a layer. When you have tooth decay, it can progress more quickly through the dentin (middle layer) to the pulp (innermost layer, containing the tooth’s nerve endings and blood supply). The types of tooth decay include:

  • Smooth Surface – A slow-growing cavity that dissolves the tooth enamel
  • Pit and Fissure Decay – Cavities formed on the top part of the tooth’s chewing surface
  • Root Decay – Can only develop into cavities if they become exposed due to periodontal disease or gum recession

Treatments of Cavities

The treatments and management of cavities will depend on the severity of your case. To make sure, you must consult with your dentist so that they can assess your tooth’s condition properly. Some of the management and treatment options you can have maybe one of the following:

  • Fluoride
  • Fillings
  • Root Canal
  • Tooth Extraction


The throbbing and sharp pain of a toothache is one of the worst nightmares you can ever experience. As much as possible, you must do everything to avoid this case by brushing and flossing your teeth properly because toothaches can affect your daily life. If you are currently experiencing a toothache and you don’t know the cause or where exactly the pain is coming from, you must go to your dentist right away to help you ease the pain.

Make your dental consultation at 67th Street Dental! We are a full-service family dental practice that can provide you with complete dental care services in Red Deer, AB, from basic dental care to full cosmetic dental makeovers. Book your appointment with us now!


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