top of page


At Brittney K. Craig, DMD, we believe that knowledge is the first step in maintaining a healthy smile. Cavities, also known as dental caries or tooth decay, are a common dental issue that can affect people of all ages. In this brief guide, we'll explore what cavities are, how they develop, and the steps you can take to prevent and treat them.

What Are Cavities? Cavities are areas of tooth enamel that have been damaged and demineralized by acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. These damaged areas appear as holes or pits in the tooth's surface and can vary in size and severity.


How Do Cavities Develop? Cavities develop through a process involving several factors:

  1. Plaque Formation: Bacteria in your mouth combine with food particles and saliva to form a sticky film called plaque.

  2. Acid Production: When you consume sugary or starchy foods and beverages, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel.

  3. Demineralization: Repeated acid exposure weakens the enamel, leading to demineralization and the formation of cavities.

  4. Cavity Formation: Over time, the weakened enamel breaks down, creating holes or cavities in the tooth.


Signs and Symptoms: Common signs of cavities include:

  • Tooth sensitivity, especially to hot, cold, or sweet foods.

  • Toothache or pain when biting down.

  • Visible holes or pits in the teeth.

  • White, brown, or black staining on the tooth's surface.


Preventing Cavities: Preventing cavities starts with a good oral care routine:

  • Brush Twice a Day: Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush to brush your teeth for two minutes each time.

  • Floss Daily: Clean between your teeth and along the gumline to remove plaque and food particles.

  • Limit Sugary Foods and Beverages: Reduce your intake of sugary snacks and drinks, especially between meals.

  • Regular Dental Check-Ups: Visit your dentist for regular check-ups and professional cleanings.

  • Fluoride: Consider fluoride treatments or toothpaste as recommended by your dentist to strengthen tooth enamel.

  • Dental Sealants: For children and adults, dental sealants can protect molars from cavity formation.


Treating Cavities: If you suspect you have a cavity or experience any symptoms, it's crucial to seek prompt dental care. Your dentist can treat cavities through:

  • Dental Fillings: The removal of decayed tooth material and the placement of a filling to restore the tooth's structure.

  • Crowns: In cases of extensive decay, a dental crown may be needed to cover and protect the tooth.

  • Root Canal Therapy: For severe cases where the pulp is affected, a root canal may be necessary to save the tooth.


Your Smile, Your Health: Cavities are preventable and treatable when caught early. Regular dental care, a healthy diet, and good oral hygiene habits are your best defense against cavities.


Schedule a Check-Up: If you have concerns about cavities or haven't had a dental check-up in a while, please contact us. We're here to help you maintain a cavity-free, healthy smile.

bottom of page