Cavities or dental caries are a common dental condition that occurs when the surface of a tooth is damaged or decays. Left untreated, cavities can lead to tooth pain, infection, and tooth loss. The good news is that cavities are preventable and treatable if caught early. What are the signs that you have a cavity?
If you experience pain or discomfort when consuming foods or beverages that are hot, cold, or sweet, this may be a sign of a cavity. This sensitivity occurs because the tooth’s inner layers, the dentin and pulp, are exposed due to enamel erosion. If you notice sensitivity when you eat or drink, make an appointment with your dentist.
Visible Holes or Discoloration
Cavities can cause visible holes or pits in the teeth. Dark spots or stains on the surface of your teeth may indicate the start of a cavity. Do not ignore them, and seek dental attention to prevent them from worsening. Regular checkups could help you detect cavities early.
Tooth Pain or Discomfort
If you experience tooth pain or discomfort unrelated to consuming hot, cold, or sweet foods and beverages, this could be a sign of a more severe cavity. Tooth decay can cause pain and discomfort in the affected tooth. In some cases, the pain happens or worsens when you bite down. The pain may even radiate or extend to the surrounding gums and teeth.
Poor oral hygiene with tooth decay can lead to bad breath. The bacteria that cause cavities release an unpleasant odor, which can cause bad breath. If your breath smells bad, and you also have pain in your teeth or gums, you may have a developing cavity.
Pus in the Gums
If you notice pus or discharge in your gums, it could indicate that a cavity has advanced to an infection. This pus can cause swelling and pain, needing immediate dental attention.
Prevention is the Best Cure
The best way to prevent cavities is by practicing good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth two times a day with fluoride toothpaste. Also, floss daily to remove plaque and food particles between your teeth. Limit sugary drinks and foods that can fuel cavities, and visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
Cavities are easy to treat if you attend to them immediately. If caught very early on, the dentist may suggest fluoride use. This helps remineralize the enamel, reversing the signs of dental caries.
Another common way to treat cavities is through dental fillings. What happens is the dentist drills out the decayed part of the tooth and fills it with tooth-colored resin, silver amalgam, or gold. The dentist may recommend tooth extraction or root canal treatment if the other methods don’t work.
Address Dental Caries as Soon as Possible
Do you have the signs of dental caries? Have them checked and treated right away. Visit us at Ganger Family Dentistry at our office in Chicago, Illinois. You may also call (773) 247-5554 to book an appointment today.