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Everything you need to know about a cavity

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What is a cavity?

Decay happens over time and the result is a cavity. Teeth are covered with a hard protective top layer called enamel. But once the enamel is weakened by acids produced by bacteria, a pit or cavity is formed in or on the tooth surface.

Do I have cavities?

Your dentist finds cavities during a regular dental checkup. They probe your teeth, looking for soft spots, or use X-rays to check between your teeth.

If you’ve had a cavity for a while, you might get a toothache, especially after you eat or drink something sweet, hot, or cold. Sometimes you can see pits or holes in your teeth.

How are they treated?

The most basic form of treatment for a cavity is a filling, which is when the decayed portion of the tooth is drilled away and replaced with a filling material.

How can I prevent cavities?

Preventing cavities is best accomplished by brushing and flossing regularly, maintaining a balanced diet and limiting the amount of sugar consumed. Flossing is critical to remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth. In addition, a dental check up every six months allows dentists to identify early signs of cavities and stop them.

Ian, the Mosman dentist. Dentist Mosman.

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