Login - or - Learn
Contact Us     Maps & Directions     About Us
Find a Provider
Your Medical Home
Find a Facility
Plan Your Visit
Find a Provider
Giving
Mother Frances Hospital
Heart Hospital
Neuroscience Institute
Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Search Health Information    Cavities

Cavities

Cavities are small holes that slowly develop in the teeth because of tooth decay.

Tooth decay usually happens slowly over a period of months or years. Acids made by plaque eat away at the hard (mineral) part of the tooth. Sometimes the tooth can use minerals in saliva to rebuild itself. A cavity forms when the damage caused by acids is more than the tooth can repair.

Mild tooth decay may be helped by effective tooth-brushing and flossing, as well as daily rinsing with fluoride mouth care products. More serious tooth decay that has caused cavities may require fillings to stop the decay and prevent further damage to the teeth.

Infants who are put to bed with a bottle or who are allowed to suck on a bottle with any sugar-containing substance (such as juice) for a long time may develop cavities, especially in the upper front teeth. This condition is called "baby bottle tooth decay." Children who have cavities in several teeth (usually the upper front teeth) may have trouble chewing hard foods and learning to speak, due to pain and tooth damage. Cavities in infants can often be prevented by making sure the baby's mouth and teeth are cleaned after the last feeding at night.

Last Revised: June 14, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Steven K. Patterson, BS, DDS, MPH - Dentistry

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

 
Trinity Clinic

Trinity Clinic is the area's preferred multispecialty medical group, with over 350 physicians and mid-level providers representing 40 specialties in 36 clinic locations serving East Texas.

Find a Trinity Clinic ProviderMedical Providers Directory  About Trinity Clinic MyChart

TMFHC app on iTunes

TMFHC app on Android Market