Does tooth pain have you in agony? Chances are your tooth pain can be from an undiagnosed cavity.
What Causes Tooth Cavities
You will have to deal with a tooth cavity at some point in your life. While cavities are particularly prevalent in children and adolescents, they can also affect adults. Regular visits to the dentist can stop cavities before they start. Although, we know that cavities can sometimes be hard to prevent in certain situations. Even certain medications can cause dental cavities. Dr. Leonard Hess fosters a judgment-free dentist office. We provide general dental tips to keep your teeth healthy without judgment.
Tooth cavities, also called dental caries by dentists, are a form of tooth decay. Natural bacteria in the mouth form plaque on your teeth. When plaque comes in contact with sugars and starches from foods, it produces acid, damaging tooth enamel over time and leading to tooth decay.
Tooth Cavity Symptoms
You may be experiencing some or all of the following symptoms if you have a tooth cavity:
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Pain when eating hot or cold foods and beverages
- Visible holes in teeth
- Pus around tooth and gums
Preventing Tooth Cavities
“Brush and floss every day,” says Dr. Hess. Cavities often form between teeth, so don’t skip the flossing part. Regular visits to the dentist are also very important. A professional dental cleaning can remove plaque that normal brushing leaves behind. The dentist can identify early signs of tooth decay and recommend treatment before it progresses. In addition, you can prevent tooth cavities by maintaining a healthy diet and limiting sugary snacks and soda.
Tooth Cavity Treatments
If you already have cavities or if your teeth are showing signs of decay, Dr. Hess offers a range of general dentistry services to restore stability to the tooth and provide protection from future damage or decay.
Composite Dental Fillings: These fillings are placed in a single visit and are used to treat teeth with minor tooth decay. They can be made of a composite resin material or porcelain material. They can last a lifetime with a good oral health routine.
Inlays and Onlays: These restorations are generally used when there is more significant tooth decay but not enough to warrant a root canal. Inlays and Onlays can protect teeth from further deterioration.
Root Canal: If the tooth decay has advanced and is causing an infection at the root of the tooth, you may need a root canal. This procedure is the best way to treat a diseased tooth and avoid an extraction.
Tooth Cavity FAQs
Tooth cavities are something almost everyone will have to face at some point in their lives. Learn more about them by reading the answers to these commonly asked questions.
What happens if I don’t treat a cavity?
If you don’t get treatment, a cavity will worsen. The longer you put off treatment, the more damage is done to your tooth. Cavities are caused by tooth decay, and the infection just continues to spread. If it impacts your dental pulp, you’ll need further dental treatment, like a root canal. If it continues further, you may need to extract the infected tooth before it impacts the health of the rest of your mouth.
How long does it take for a cavity to spread?
The amount of time it takes can vary. The infection can take anywhere from a few months to multiple years to spread throughout your tooth. Cavities in some areas of the mouth will spread more than others. Other factors like genetics, diet, and oral hygiene routine also matter. Once you notice signs of a cavity, you should get the tooth examined immediately.
Can brushing my teeth slow down the spread of a cavity?
Yes, brushing helps prevent cavities in general, too. If you already have a cavity, it can help prevent it from spreading further. While the area may be sensitive, focus on the cavity to remove any further food particles and debris from around the cavity. Thorough brushing can help prevent the cavity from spreading by giving bacteria less material to feed on.
How many cavities can I get filled at once?
Technically, there’s no limit to the number of cavities we can fill in one appointment. However, we don’t recommend getting any more than four filled in one appointment. The process involves trauma to the tooth, and it’s important to give the tissue time to heal in between. We don’t want to overload your mouth all at once.
How many cavities are normal?
Cavities are one of the most common health problems. Over 90% of adults in the US have had at least one cavity in their mouth. On average, adult patients have had around 3-4 cavities in their lifetime.
Do I have a cavity?
Some of the most common symptoms of a cavity include pain, sensitivity to hot or cold, or visibly seeing a dark portion or small hole in your tooth. You can’t see cavities in all instances. If you’re experiencing pain or other symptoms that are out of the ordinary for you, call your dentist. We have diagnostic tools like x-rays to determine the cause of your dental issues.
Schedule a Dental Exam Today
Dental cavities are highly preventable. Tooth decay can be treated by visiting your dentist in Monroe, NC regularly. Whether you are new to the Charlotte area or just trying to find a new dentist, consider Dr. Leonard Hess a the Union County Center for Comprehensive Dentistry.