Cavities are one of the most common dental problems. They occur when tooth decay weakens a tooth’s enamel, causing a small hole or “cavity” to form. If left untreated, cavities can lead to serious dental problems, including infections, abscesses, and even tooth loss.
There are a few telltale signs that you may have a cavity. If you notice any of the following, it’s time to see your Belmont dentist:
Tooth Pain or Sensitivity that Doesn’t Go Away
If you have a tooth that is sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, sweet foods, or biting pressure, and the sensitivity doesn’t go away after a couple of days, you may have a cavity. However, be aware that by the time you begin to experience these symptoms the cavity may have already begun to develop into a more serious issue.
Cavities can cause tooth pain or sensitivity when the cavity is touching the nerve of the tooth or the cavity has reached the root of the tooth, which can be very painful. If the cavity is large enough, it can put pressure on the surrounding teeth and cause them to become sensitive as well. If you have a cavity that is causing you pain or sensitivity, it is important to contact your dentist as soon as possible so that they can treat it before it gets worse.
Visible Holes or Pits in Your Teeth
Cavities can cause visible holes or pits in your teeth. When cavities first form, you may not see or feel them. However, as the cavities get larger, they begin to erode the tooth enamel, causing visible holes or pits. If left untreated, cavities can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Dark or Discolored Spots on Your Teeth
Cavities can be very small, just a tiny discoloration on your tooth, or they can be much larger and cause serious damage to your tooth structure.
If you have any concerns about discolored spots on your teeth, be sure to visit your dentist. They will be able to diagnose the cause and recommend the best treatment option.
Rough Spots on Your Teeth
Cavities can cause rough spots on your teeth for a few reasons. When cavities form, they create tiny openings in your tooth enamel. Over time, these openings can become larger and more pronounced, eventually causing the surface of your tooth to feel rough. Additionally, the bacteria that cause cavities can also lead to the formation of tartar (a hard, yellowish substance) on your teeth. This tartar can also contribute to roughness.
What Happens if You Have a Cavity?
Cavities are caused by bacteria that live in your mouth. These bacteria produce acids that eat away at the enamel of your teeth. Over time, this can create a small hole in your tooth.
If you have a cavity, your dentist will likely recommend a filling. This involves removing the damaged tooth material and filling the hole with a new material, such as composite resin or amalgam.
Fillings can help restore your tooth to its normal shape and function. They can also prevent the cavity from getting larger and causing further damage to your tooth.
Cavities can be painful, but not always. You may not even know you have a cavity until it shows up on an X-ray or causes pain when you bite down. Fun fact, approximately 80% of cavities form in-between teeth, so the best way to ensure your oral health is by scheduling routine cleanings and X-ray’s.
If you think you may have a cavity, don’t wait to see your dentist. Cavities can lead to serious dental problems if they’re not treated promptly.
How to Prevent Cavities
There are many ways to prevent cavities, including brushing and flossing regularly, eating a healthy diet, avoiding sugary drinks, and visiting your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.
A dentist at Belmont Group Dental will be able to tell if you have a cavity by looking at your teeth and taking X-rays. They may also use a special tool to measure the depth of the cavity. The deeper the cavity, the more serious it is, and the more extensive treatment will be needed.
If you think you might have a cavity, contact your dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent more serious problems down the road. The sooner you get treatment, the better!