Understanding Cavities: Causes, Symptoms, and Risks

What are Cavities?

A cavity, or a tooth decay, starts as a discreet hole on your tooth. They have a variety of causes and present symptoms depending on how severe the decay is. There are risk factors which make some people more prone to it than others.

Cavities are very common across all age groups, including infants. It is one of the most common disease conditions in children worldwide. Due to the fact that they are, at first, unnoticeable, you may not know you have a cavity; even if you think you are practising good oral hygiene. Many do not present pain symptoms and so they grow larger and deeper. That is why regular dental visits are important to catch cavities early and prevent new ones from forming.

Symptoms of Cavities

So what are the usual symptoms that a cavity may be present on your tooth? Common symptoms are black or white staining on the tooth surface, tooth sensitivity, pain, and hole on the tooth.

Plaque is generally the cause of holes on your teeth. The sticky substance that is composed of food debris, saliva, acid and bacteria binds to the tooth surface and slowly but surely eats away at the enamel, the tooth’s first layer.

Some people are more prone to developing cavities than others. Here are risk factors that will make you more susceptible to cavities.

  • A diet that is high in sugar; high consumption of acidic foods and drinks
  • Oral hygiene neglect; not brushing and flossing regularly
  • Not enough fluoride in drinking water, toothpaste, etc.
  • Disorders like dry mouth syndrome, anorexia, bulimia, and acid reflux
  • Crooked teeth that do not get cleaned well, especially back teeth


Learning More About Cavities in Bellevue

Regular visits to your Bellevue dentist will catch cavities early and prevent the formation of new ones. If you think you may have a cavity, do not ignore it. Drop by for a consultation at Overlake Dental.