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Even though you’ve probably heard the word many times before, do you really know what a cavity is? Really, it’s just another way to say tooth decay, which may be influenced by how well we take care of our teeth, our lifestyle, what we consume and heredity can play a role. Although they may be more common in young children, adults can have dental decay occur as well.

Three types of cavities
-Coronal cavities might be the most common because they are typically located on the chewing surfaces or between the teeth.
-If your gums recede, it can expose your tooth’s more vulnerable roots. Because the roots do not have enamel on them for their defense, they could easily get root cavities.
-Recurrent decay happens if cavities form around an existing filling or crown. Those areas may already have a proclivity of gathering plaque, which ultimately may start the cycle of dental decay again.

You might be at a higher risk for dental decay if you suffer from dry mouth, which happens when your saliva production is reduced. It could be a result of an illness, medications, breathing through your mouth etc.

Cavities should not be underestimated, as they can be very serious if they aren’t treated. They might start small, but left unchecked, they can damage the tooth further and kill its nerves, which can lead to infections and other complications. If an abscess forms, you might have to have a root canal to restore your dental health.

Only doctors like ours may be able to know if you have a cavity because they can develop below a tooth’s surface. The acids that plaque can produce may erode the material beneath while leaving the surface intact. They might be more likely to form in the pits of teeth or in between the teeth, where it might be harder to clean, which may make brushing and flossing even more important.

Regular checkups at One Market Dental in San Francisco, California, can check for cavities and help you prevent them. Limiting the starchy, acidic and sugary foods that you eat may also help prevent decay from entering your smile. If you would like to make an appointment, our team can be reached at 415.222.9600.