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Enjoy Autumnal Treats Without Wreaking Havoc on Your Smile

October is prime time for enjoying all kinds of treats, from caramel-covered apples to buckets full of candy. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it will soon be time for pumpkin pie and candied yams, as well, plus lots more wonderful autumnal sweets. If you don’t know the potential threat all that sugar can pose to your smile, you’re more likely to start the new year with a smile riddled with cavities. To avoid this, some preventive steps can be taken to reduce your risk of cavities. If all else fails, seek restorative treatment as soon as possible, to prevent a cavity from worsening and threatening the jeopardy of your tooth.

Prevent Cavities as Much as Possible

Cavities are caused when plaque bacteria buildup creates an acidic environment on or around the teeth, which can lead to decay. Plaque is also a primary cause of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Limiting sugar intake is one way to prevent plaque buildup, since plaque bacteria feed on sugars and simple starches. The other way to reduce the risk of cavity is to practice great dental hygiene, like daily brushing, flossing and regular checkups and cleanings.

How to Treat an Existing Cavity

If you do have a cavity, the best step is to call and schedule a dental visit as soon as possible. By removing the plaque, sterilizing the tooth, and often placing a dental filling to help protect the fragile tooth, the dentist can help stop the decay and restore your oral health.

Left untreated, however, your tooth will not be able to repair itself, therefore the cavity will only grow worse with time. This can lead to an infection within the tooth, that requires root canal treatment to correct. To prevent the need for invasive restorative treatment, schedule an appointment at the first signs of trouble, such as grey or black lines forming along a tooth, sensitivity to hot or cold foods, or discomfort while brushing, chewing or drinking.