Cavities are one of the most common health issues in the world and can affect anyone at any time. Without proper care, cavities can lead to an infection that may end in tooth loss. Ryan Zhuoran Zhao, DDS, PhD, and his team at Harmony Smile Dental in Sunnyvale, California, can evaluate your teeth and if you have a cavity, provide the most gentle and appropriate care to maintain good oral health. For management of all your dental health needs, including cavities, call the office today at (408) 738-1000 or request an appointment online.

Cavities Q & A

What is a cavity?

A cavity, also referred to as tooth decay or dental cary, refers to the development of a hole in the hard surface of your tooth. You may develop cavities from a number of causes, such as:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Frequent snacking
  • Consumption of sugary beverages

Cavities are very common, but children, teens, and the elderly tend to be the hardest hit. If you don’t get treatment for your cavity, the hole may enlarge and lead to an infection that may require a tooth extraction.

Do cavities cause symptoms?

Yes, but usually not until your cavity has grown in size. When cavities are small, you may not have any symptoms. But as they grow, you may begin to notice:

  • Spontaneous tooth pain
  • Sensitivity
  • Pain when you eat something sweet, hot, or cold
  • Brown or black spots on the enamel
  • Holes or pits

Because cavities can develop without your knowledge, Dr. Zhao recommends you come in as scheduled for your regular exams and cleanings so he and his team can identify cavities early and provide the best treatment plan.

How are cavities treated?

Treatment for your cavity depends on the degree of damage. If caught early, you may not require extensive intervention.

Treatment for your cavity may include:

  • Fluoride
  • Filling
  • Crowns
  • Root canals
  • Tooth extractions

With a small cavity, you may be able to restore tooth loss with fluoride and good oral hygiene at home and prevent the need for a filling or more extensive treatment.

Dr. Zhao and his team at Harmony Smile Dental want nothing more than for you to retain your natural smile and they do everything they can to prevent cavities from turning into a tooth extraction.

Can I prevent cavities?

Yes, you can prevent cavities. Dr. Zhao spends a lot of his time with you reviewing what you need to do at home to maintain good oral health. You can prevent cavities by:

  • Brushing and flossing regularly
  • Using a fluoride mouth rinse
  • Having sealants placed on your teeth
  • Visiting Dr. Zhao and the team at Harmony Smile Dental as scheduled

You may also want to avoid frequent snacking and sugary drinks to help prevent the development of cavities.

Cavities are common but preventable. Dr. Zhao and his team take a preventive approach to dental care and work closely with you to develop treatments that help you retain your natural smile. For expert cavity care and oral health management, call Harmony Smile Dental today at (408) 738-1000 or request an appointment online.

Dr. Zhao

Dr. Zhao

Dr. Ryan Zhao, DDS, PhD, the dental specialist at Harmony Smile Dental in Sunnyvale, California, prioritizes preventive care to optimize oral health. With a foundation of trust, compassion, and expertise, Dr. Zhao dedicates quality time to each patient, restoring smiles through state-of-the-art procedures. Holding a DDS from the University of California, San Francisco, and a PhD from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, he remains at the forefront of dentistry as a member of professional organizations. Fluent in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Shanghainese, Dr. Zhao's commitment to personalized care and continuous learning is reflected in his authoritative and trustworthy approach.