Dental Cavities in McKinney TX

Fight Cavities with McKinney TX Dentist

Illume Dental in McKinney, TX – Combat dental cavities with our expert care. Protect your smile, book an appointment today.

We all want to have a bright, healthy smile. However, there is one dental issue that often plagues both adults and children alike – cavities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tooth decay affects more than 90% of adults over the age of 40, making it one of the most prevalent chronic diseases. With such a high prevalence, dental cavities are something that we should all be concerned about.

Dental cavities, dental caries, or tooth decay are common oral health issues affecting individuals of all ages. At Illume Dental of McKinney, we prioritize patient education and preventing and treating dental cavities.

What Are Dental Cavities? 

Dental cavities are areas of the tooth’s hard outer surface (enamel) that have been damaged and weakened due to the demineralization of tooth structure. They can manifest as small holes or pits in the tooth and progressively become larger if left untreated. Cavities are primarily caused by bacterial activity in the mouth.

Signs of Dental Cavities

Common signs of dental cavities include:

  • Tooth Sensitivity: Sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and beverages.
  • Toothache: Persistent or intermittent pain in the affected tooth.
  • Visible Holes: Dark spots, pits, or holes on the tooth surface.
  • Bad Breath: Persistent bad breath (halitosis) can be associated with cavities.
  • Tooth Discoloration: Changes in the color of the affected tooth.

Causes of Dental Cavities

Dental cavities are primarily caused by a combination of factors:

  • Bacteria: When exposed to sugary or starchy foods, the mouth is home to bacteria that produce acids. These acids erode tooth enamel.
  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing lead to plaque accumulation—a sticky film of bacteria and food particles—on teeth.
  • Diet: High sugary or acidic food and drink intake contributes to cavity formation.
  • Dry Mouth: Reduced saliva production can limit the mouth’s natural ability to neutralize acids and protect teeth.
  • Weakened Enamel: Conditions like teeth grinding (bruxism) can weaken enamel, increasing cavity risk.

Risk Factors for Dental Cavities

Several factors increase the risk of developing cavities:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing.
  • Diet: High sugar and carbohydrate consumption.
  • Dry Mouth: Reduced saliva flow.
  • Age: Children and older people are more vulnerable.
  • Medical Conditions: Conditions like acid reflux can increase acidity in the mouth.
  • Medications: Some medications can reduce saliva production.
  • Tooth Location: Molars and premolars are more susceptible.

Are Cavities Contagious? 

No, dental cavities are not contagious in the same way as an infectious disease. However, the bacteria that contribute to cavity formation can be transmitted from person to person through activities like sharing utensils or kissing. Keeping teeth clean and seeing the dentist frequently is crucial to minimize the risk of cavity development and transmission of harmful bacteria.

At Illume Dental of McKinney, we emphasize preventive care and education to help our patients maintain healthy smiles. If you suspect you have a cavity or are concerned about your oral health, we are here to provide expert guidance, diagnosis, and treatment to ensure optimal dental well-being.