A to Z: Dental Cavitiesenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-khAZDictionary-enHD-AR1.jpgA dental cavity is a hole in the tooth that can grow bigger and deeper over time.dental, dentist, tooth, teeth, cavity, cavities, caries, brush, floss, fluoride, enamel, decay, root, pulp, root canal11/13/201303/25/201909/02/20192e22e87b-89c9-4123-9704-923af2f253cehttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/az-dental-cavities.html/<p>A dental cavity is a hole in the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/mouth-teeth.html/">tooth</a> that can grow bigger and deeper over time.</p> <h3>More to Know</h3> <p>Cavities (also called caries) happen when bacteria (germs) and food left on the teeth after eating are not <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/healthy.html/">brushed</a> or flossed away. The bacteria make acid that softens the tooth's outer hard surface (called the enamel). Once this happens, the acids can cause decay deeper in the tooth. This can lead to a cavity that sometimes causes tooth pain or sensitivity.</p> <p>Many kids get cavities but certain things make developing cavities more likely. These include drinking a lot of sugary drinks, using a sippy cup or bottle (filled with something other than water) throughout the day or while in bed, not getting enough <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fluoride-water.html/">fluoride</a>, being around <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/secondhand-smoke.html/">cigarette smoke</a>, and taking liquid medication for a long time.</p> <p><img title="dental cavity illustration" src="https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/illustrations/dentalCavity-415x233-rd4-enIL.png" alt="dental cavity illustration" name="4688-DENTALCAVITY_415X233_RD4_ENIL.PNG" /></p> <h3>Keep in Mind</h3> <p>To treat a cavity, a dentist will first numb the tooth and gum area. The decayed part of the tooth is removed with a special drill, then a filling is put into the hole. Sometimes, the decay is very deep and the dentist may recommend a root canal (removing the nerve and pulp, then cleaning and sealing the inside of the tooth) or removing the tooth.</p> <p><em>All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.</em></p>
Fluoride and WaterKeeping kids' teeth healthy requires more than just daily brushing. Learn about fluoride, a substance found naturally in water that plays an important role in healthy teeth.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fluoride-water.html/ee5ef57f-be82-4c51-9c8c-8e81b80444f3
Going to the DentistWhat happens when you go to the dentist? Find out in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/go-dentist.html/1038d5db-5893-42b9-8cfa-61f1959c889b
Gum DiseaseGum disease doesn't just happen to people your grandparents' age - it can happen to teens too. Get the details here.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/gum-disease.html/74cf7201-de04-4789-9baf-9334fc7d57d8
How Do I Care for My Baby's Teeth?Find out what the experts have to say.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/start-brushing-teeth.html/6fa97c0c-916f-46a9-b736-6aec5e3ad3c5
Keeping Your Child's Teeth HealthyHere are the basics about how to care for your child's teeth - and when.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/healthy.html/ee269f09-e62c-4f49-b81f-fdc0631485f1
Mouth and TeethDid you know that your mouth is the first step in the body's digestive process? Or that the mouth and teeth are essential for speech? Learn about the many roles your mouth and teeth play.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/mouth-teeth.html/5a8e1bcb-2da9-4821-8214-788f464d2742
Taking Care of Your TeethThe healthier your teeth are, the happier you look. That's why it's important to take great care of your teeth by brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist. Learn more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/teeth-care.html/c769d281-78d2-450f-8fd1-b7ea429bc616
What's a Cavity?Cavities are small holes in your teeth that need to be filled. Find out what causes tooth decay and how dentists handle it.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/cavity.html/9e228808-986e-4a54-bf6c-ca39ee6c513c
Your TeethThere's much more to a tooth than meets the eye. This article for kids gives you the inside story.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/teeth.html/1081a110-2ede-48de-82c3-82da8da954e5