The good thing about cavities is that their pretty easily preventable with the right level of care and maintenance. However, they can also develop just as easily, and often before you realize it, which is partly why cavities are the most frequent tooth problem to develop. Fortunately, failing to prevent a cavity from forming doesn’t mean that you’ve failed to protect your tooth from tooth decay. In fact, by spotting the cavity early and seeking treatment for it, you may be able to stop it before it causes any significant damage to your tooth structure.

The best way to prevent a cavity

Cavities are common because they can form naturally. Every day, oral bacteria accumulate on your teeth surfaces, and some of them produce substances (like acids) that directly attack your tooth enamel. These attacks leave the enamel weak and unable to repel the bacteria, so before long, they’ll infect your tooth structure. The best way to prevent this is to prevent bacteria from gaining the strength to compromise your tooth enamel. For example, brushing and flossing your teeth is designed to do exactly that, though doing it consistently and carefully every time is the only way to successfully keep oral bacteria at bay.

Can you have one and not know it?

Because maintaining 100% consistency in your daily hygiene routine isn’t always possible, cavities can still develop despite your best efforts. Unfortunately, you won’t always know the moment a tooth starts to decay and a cavity starts to develop, and you may have one for quite some time before realizing it. For example, by the time your tooth starts to ache from the cavity, the erosion of your tooth enamel may be significant enough to have permanently damaged it. Th cavity may have also eroded a portion of the tooth’s main structure, known as dentin, which makes up the majority of its crown.

How to check for a cavity at home

A lack of discomfort in your tooth isn’t a good enough reason to assume that you don’t have a cavity, and you’ve successfully prevented one from forming. Before enough damage is caused to make your tooth hurt, you can stay ahead of cavity development by paying close attention every time you clean your teeth. The weakening of your tooth enamel may not be visibly obvious to you, but you may notice a slight sensitivity in the tooth when you pay attention to it. You may also see slight changes in your tooth’s appearance, as the decay can cause some discoloration as it progresses.

Learn how you to beat cavity development

If you fail to prevent a cavity from forming, you can still prevent it from causing significant tooth damage by spotting and treating it early. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Silver Smiles in Silver City, NM, today at (575) 534-3699.