Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. Cavities, also called tooth decay or caries, are caused by a combination of factors including bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks, and poor oral hygiene practices.
Cavities are among the world’s most common health problems. They’re especially common in children, teenagers and older adults, but anyone who has teeth can get cavities, including infants.
If cavities aren’t treated, they get larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth. They can lead to severe toothache, infection and tooth loss. Regular dental visits and good oral hygiene habits are your best protection against cavities and tooth decay.
The signs and symptoms of cavities vary, depending on their extent and location. When a cavity is just beginning, you may not have any symptoms at all. As the decay gets larger, it may cause signs and symptoms such as: toothache, tooth sensitivity, pain when biting, visible holes/pits in teeth, staining on tooth surface, mild to sharp pain when consuming sweet, hot, or cold