Dental cavity facts

Also known as tooth decay, dental cavities are caused by acid erosion of tooth enamel. When bacteria and plaque build up on teeth, optimal conditions are created in the mouth for tooth decay to occur, which is why it is essential to prevent or treat dental cavities early on.

How Will I Know If I Have Cavities?

The only way to diagnose cavities is to visit your dentist for a check-up, preferably every six months. By maintaining a regular dental check-up schedule, any problems such as cavities can be diagnosed in the early stages and treatment applied before the problem escalates.

What Are The Symptoms?

Dental cavities often present no symptoms. If left untreated however, cavities will continue to erode the teeth and get larger, sometimes resulting in symptoms at a later stage when you may find your teeth are more sensitive to sweet foods or hot and cold temperatures.

How Can I Prevent Cavities?

Maintaining a healthy oral care routine at home is important. As well as brushing your teeth at least twice daily to remove food particles, plaque and bacteria, flossing daily will ensure you reach between the teeth and gums to clean those areas that are hard to reach with a toothbrush.

What Treatment Is Available?

The standard cavity treatment is a dental filling. The decayed matter will first be removed, and then the cavity filled – usually with amalgam or composite resin. For extensive cavities, more complex treatments such as crowns or root canal may be required to save your tooth.


The information contained on this website and websites linked to this website (Information) does not constitute or comprise comprehensive medical or dental advice. You should seek dental advice directly from your dentist before acting or relying on the Information.

First published: 06 November 2014

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