Even with good oral hygiene habits, you can still develop a cavity. Cavities are incredibly common and can affect anyone, from children to adults. You might not feel pain or other obvious signs of cavities as they begin to develop, but there are some symptoms to know.
If you think you are developing a cavity, contact your dentist. When left untreated, cavities can cause further problems like infection and even tooth loss. Along with regular brushing, flossing, and teeth cleaning, looking out for the signs of cavities can help you keep your mouth healthy.
What are Cavities?
A cavity is tooth decay that manifests as a tiny hole or opening. Typically, bacteria and improper dental hygiene cause cavities. However, they are very common, and some people are at higher risk than others to develop cavities. High sugar intake can also cause cavities.
Treatment For Cavities
If cavities are not treated, they will get larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth. Eventually, you might need a root canal to fix the deeper infection that cavities can cause. You are also at risk for tooth loss if you do not see a dentist to treat your cavity.
Through an X-ray, your dentist can see the extent of the cavity. Treatment for cavities often involves fluoride therapies or fillings. When your dentist fills a cavity, they will first numb the area around the tooth. Next, they will use a drill to reach the infected area and clean it out. Finally, they will fill the area where the infection used to be.
These fillings might be an amalgam, which has a silvery appearance, or composite, which look like natural teeth. Your dentist will discuss your options and help you make the right choice. Filling a cavity can be completed in one session at a dentist’s office. If you know the signs of cavities to look out for, you can stop a cavity before it becomes a more significant problem, which leads to infection or health complications.
Signs of Cavities
Although your dentist will use an X-ray to see the decay, you might notice some changes in your mouth before your visit. Some signs of cavities include the following:
- Bad breath: Bacteria from tooth decay can cause bad breath
- Bad taste in your mouth: A lingering bad taste, even after brushing and flossing, can be a sign of tooth decay
- Sensitivity or pain: Cavities can compromise the nerve, making your tooth more susceptible to changes in temperature
- Extreme pain: A bacterial infection can cause fever, pain, or swollen glands
- Dark or white spots: Cavities that have progressed often become visible as a spot on the tooth
- Holes in your teeth: Holes can form as a result of decay
- Bleeding during brushing: Cavities can cause gum irritation and make bleeding more likely
Prevention is essential, and regular flossing, brushing, and dental exams can help keep your teeth healthy. However, if you notice these signs of cavities, reach out to your dentist right away. At Columbia Smiles, we’ve provided cavity treatments for Howard County for 35 years.
Contact Columbia Smiles
If you are aware of the potential signs of a cavity or have other oral health issues, contact Columbia Smiles as soon as possible. Treating your cavity as early as possible will prevent further problems later on.
At our practice in Columbia, MD, we are committed to providing a comfortable experience. We know that for some, going to the dentist can be stressful.
We’re here to answer your questions and keep your smile healthy. Reach out today by calling us at 410.690.4855.