Cavities, also referred to as ‘dental caries’ or ‘tooth decay,’ are one of the most common oral health issues facing kids and adults. Most people will experience at least one cavity during their childhood, and others will face several more throughout adulthood. Everyone’s mouth is different, and the length of time it takes for a cavity to form can vary greatly.
What Causes Cavities?
In order for a cavity to form, the outer shell of the tooth must first be weakened. Your tooth enamel may be the hardest substance in your body, but it is still vulnerable to certain kinds of damage. Tooth enamel can be worn down by bacteria, acidic food and drink, and physical abrasions—or even a combination of the three. Once the enamel is penetrated, tooth decay can spread within the tooth and weaken it.
Preventing Tooth Decay
While there are several involuntary factors that contribute to the development of tooth decay, there’s a lot a person can do to prevent their growth. Eating a balanced diet, brushing and flossing as directed, and scheduling regular dental cleanings near Irving is your best defense against tooth decay.
So, How Long Does it Take for a Cavity to Form?
A cavity can take anywhere from six months to five years to develop before it requires treatment. The wide range here is influenced by the conditions in a person’s mouth, including their hygiene, diet, and genetic factors.
The area where the cavity is forming can also influence the rate at which it develops. For example, cavities near the gumline tend to progress more quickly because your tooth enamel is naturally thinner in that area.
Can You Reverse Tooth Decay?
It may be possible to heal and reverse small spots of tooth decay that are in the early stages of development. Everyone’s saliva contains helpful minerals that work to build up and repair tooth enamel. If a cavity is caught early enough, the patient may be able to recover by making careful dietary choices or undergoing a fluoride treatment.
Exams and Dental Cleanings Near Irving
Visiting a Rio Dental location near you every six months (or twice per year) can help identify cavities at their earliest, most easily treatable stages. Schedule a dental cleaning near Irving today! Contact us to make an appointment.