Cavities: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

August 5, 2016

Cavities are a common dental problem faced by many patients of all ages, gender, and status. Most of the time, we are not even aware that cavities are already present in our teeth. A visit to the dentist will help prevent and treat this issue.

Most cavities can be detected in its early form. A dental exam can determine if your teeth’s surface is soft while dental x-rays can identify the presence of cavities before they become visible. Regular check-ups and cleaning will help maintain a good oral hygiene. If you feel any pain or toothache, you should visit your dentist and have it checked as soon as possible.

There are various signs and symptoms if you have a cavity. It can depend on the extent of your cavity and where it is located. If the cavity is a bit premature, there may not be any symptoms at all. However, as it progresses and grows, the symptoms will most likely start to appear.
Causes of Cavities


  • Plaque formation – Our mouth is a breeding ground of bacteria. These particles are from leftover food and sugar. Once uncleaned, bacteria builds up and produces acids. Plaque begins to form in our teeth.

The initial stages of plaque formation produces a soft material. If this is not treated immediately, the particle will become hard and therefore will be more difficult to remove.


  • Plaque attacks – The acids produced by the plaque removes the mineral in the tooth’s enamel. This causes tiny holes in your teeth and thus the first stage of cavity begins to unfold. Once the enamel is broken down, the plaque reaches the next layer called the dentin.
  • Continues decay – If your cavity remains untreated, the plaque reaches the inner part of your teeth known as the pulp. The pulp contains the nerves and vessels of your teeth. Once the pulp becomes irritated and swollen, you will experience toothache and other symptoms of cavities.

Symptoms of Cavities


  • Toothache
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Pain when eating or drinking hot, cold and sweet substances
  • Teeth stain and discoloration whether it’s white, yellow, brown or black
  • Visible holes in your teeth

Treatment of Cavities


  • Fillings – The dentist will eliminate the decay in your tooth by using a drill. The extracted substance will then be replaced by a new material such as porcelain, silver alloy, gold or composite resin. Most patients prefer to use porcelain or composite resin since the material color and appearance is closer to the natural color of our teeth. These are widely used on front teeth.

Most dentists, on the other hand, recommend silver alloy or gold fillings for back teeth since its material is stronger. However, there are now composite resins available that are designed to be more durable. You can consult your dentist in Calgary SE for this matter.


  • Crowns – These are also known as caps. If a tooth decay has progressed and has led to a weaker tooth, a crown is recommended by your dentist in Calgary SE. Tooth breakage is caused by large fillings and weak tooth. Once your dentist removes and restores the decayed tooth, a crown is fitted over it. Crowns are made of gold or porcelain materials attached to a metal.


  • Root canals – This procedure is performed by the dentist once the nerve in your tooth dies. The nerve and tissue is extracted together with the decayed parts of the tooth. Afterwards, the roots are filled with a sealant. A crown is usually required to cover the tooth.


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