Cavities, also known as tooth decay, are incredibly common. With proper treatment, tooth decay that is caught early doesn’t need to lead to any lasting issues. However, many people ignore the common symptoms of tooth decay and also avoid visiting the dentist. If ignored, this can lead to the need for a root canal or other complicated dental procedures.
Knowing the common signs of tooth decay will help. However, if concerned, reach out for treatment right away. If you need treatment for a cavity or a cleaning in Howard County, contact Columbia Smiles today.
What Are the Warning Signs of Tooth Decay?
Early tooth decay isn’t noticeable to the untrained eye. For this reason, it’s important to visit your dentist regularly. If you wait too long and the cavity grows, you might notice symptoms such as:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods or beverages
- Persistent pain in the tooth
- Holes or pits in the teeth
- Pain when chewing
- Discoloration on the surface of the tooth
A toothache of any kind is a reason to visit your dentist, as it could be a symptom of a number of underlying issues. If you notice any of the above symptoms, schedule an appointment right away. An X-ray can reveal what’s going on under the surface.
Tooth Decay Treatment
If you have a cavity, there are a number of ways your dentist can treat this issue. The treatment that is right for you will depend on the severity of the tooth decay. Some of the most common treatments include:
- Fillings – Your dentist will clean out the decayed area and fill it with a durable resin or dental amalgam.
- Fluoride – This mineral can help restore your tooth’s enamel and can reverse tooth decay in its earliest stages.
- Crowns – If a cavity has weakened your tooth, a crown can cover it.
- Root canals – Typically only needed when a tooth is badly damaged or infected, root canals involve cleaning out the interior of a tooth and placing a crown.
Tooth Decay Prevention
Preventing cavities is the best way to avoid complicated dental procedures. Tooth decay is caused by plaque, which can form when sugars and starches build up on the teeth. Cleaning your teeth properly and avoiding sugary drinks can help you fight off decay.
To keep your teeth and gums healthy, brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Floss daily to remove food particles and plaque from hard-to-reach areas. And try to swap sugary drinks and snacks for water and low-sugar options. If you do eat sugary foods, rinse your mouth with water as soon as possible. Smoking is also a risk factor for tooth decay, as is dry mouth.
Contact Columbia Smiles Today
Whether you’ve noticed some of the symptoms of tooth decay or are in need of a regular cleaning, Columbia Smiles can help. Our dentists will check for any signs of decay as well as common issues like gum disease during a dental exam. We offer a wide array of services to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy and your smile looking its best. These include:
- Cosmetic dentistry services like veneers and teeth whitening
- Dental trauma services in the case of an accident or injury
- Wisdom teeth consultation
- Periodontal reviews for gum disease
Contact our team today to schedule an appointment. We’ve worked hard to make our office a welcoming, comfortable environment for all of our patients, especially those who struggle with dental anxiety.