How do You Know if You Have a Cavity?

There are plenty of things in this world that are dangerous, such as grizzly bears, landmines, eating a whole pizza, or admitting that you are a Justin Bieber fan. But there is one danger that trumps them all, and nobody is safe from it… cavities. These little buggers can happen to anyone. However, often people are unaware that they have a cavity. Having a good dental routine is essential to your oral health. Brushing and flossing every day is great, but without regular dental visits, you risk letting a small issue, such as a cavity, become bigger and require more extensive treatment.

A cavity can be filled by a simple procedure then you’ll be sent on your merry way. However, if you let it go unchecked until you are in pain, you’ll most likely require a root canal to fix the problem. Avoiding the dentist will only make things worse.

What causes cavities?

Bacteria within the mouth converts simple sugars into acid plaque, which causes the hard layers of the enamel and dentin to soften. Those soft layers are then dissolved by saliva, leaving a hole/cavity in the tooth. Unless the cavity is filled it will continue to cause decay and damage the inner pulp of the tooth. This is the point when either a tooth extraction or root canal procedure will be necessary.

How do you know if you have a cavity?

1.X-rays - This is the best way to find out you have a cavity. It means that you are diligent about your oral hygiene and have made routine visits to our office

2.Tooth pain -Toothaches are often associated with cavities. However, as mentioned above, pain is usually a side effect of a cavity left untreated for a long time

3.Bad breath - If you notice that you have bad breath even after you have brushed, flossed, and gargled with mouthwash, that is a sign of decay within the mouth

4.Dark spots - Some cavities may only be detected by x-ray. However, if left untreated for a long time, dark spots may appear at the source of the cavity

5.Bad taste - Having an unpleasant taste in your mouth, even after brushing, will most likely be caused by a cavity

6.Sensitivity - If you feel sensitivity from drinking something either hot or cold, it is usually from enamel erosion, which is the first step towards a cavity

7.Holes - If you can see or feel any holes in your teeth, it is most likely a cavity

8.Pus - This is a cavity indicator, but also a sign of an abscess. It can cause pain, fevers, and swollen glands. This requires immediate medical attention and requires antibiotics to kill the bacteria

How to prevent cavities

●Brush (at least) twice a day and floss (at least) once a day

●Limit your intake of snacks, avoid sticky foods, and brush after each meal whenever possible

●Develop a habit of drinking one pint of fluoride water a day

●Avoid chewing on sugar-filled gum, look for gum that contains xylitol sweetener instead

●Avoid sipping on acidic drinks throughout the day

●Stay away from hard, sticky, or gummy candies

If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should make an appointment with us as soon as possible. Seeking treatment early can save you time, pain, and money. Contact our office today and let us help make your smile dazzling and healthy. 

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