You may be asking yourself, “Do I have a cavity?” Below, we take a closer look at why you may have a cavity and what you can do about it.
Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth. Eventually, the damaged areas develop into tiny openings or holes. Cavities are caused by numerous factors such as bacteria, frequent snacking, sugary drinks, or not cleaning your teeth.
Cavities and tooth decay are common in children, teenagers, and older adults. However, if you have teeth, then you can get cavities at any age. If you do not treat your cavities, they become worse and affect deeper layers of your teeth. They can lead to severe toothache, infection, or tooth loss. This is why it’s so important to visit a specialist and, possibly, receive a dental cavity filling in Rogers Arkansas.
What Causes Cavities?
Cavities are ultimately caused by tooth decay. Dental plaque builds upon your enamel and coats your teeth. When you do not clean sugars and starches off your teeth, bacteria forms the plaque. Plaque that stays on your teeth can harden under or above your gum line into tartar. Tartar makes plaque more difficult to remove and creates a shield for bacteria.
The acids in plaque remove minerals in your tooth’s hard, outer enamel. This erosion causes tiny openings or holes in the enamel. Once the enamel wears away, the bacteria and acid can reach the next layer of your teeth. This layer is softer than enamel and less resistant to acid. As a result, the buildup makes your teeth more sensitive.
The bacteria and acid continue to the inner tooth material that contains nerves and blood vessels. Your inner teeth and gum area become swollen and irritated from the bacteria. Because there is no place for the swelling to expand inside of a tooth, the nerve becomes pressed, causing pain. Discomfort can even extend outside of the tooth root to the bone.
What are the Symptoms of Cavities?
The signs of a cavity may include:
- Toothache, spontaneous pain, or pain that occurs without an apparent cause
- Tooth sensitivity
- Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold
- Visible holes or pits in your teeth
- Brown, black, or white staining on any surface of a tooth
- Pain when you bite down
Treatment for Cavities
Through regular checkups from your dentist, you can identify cavities and other dental conditions before they cause troubling symptoms and lead to more severe problems. The sooner you schedule a checkup or treatment, the better your chances of reversing the earliest stages of tooth decay and preventing its progression.
If a dentist treats the cavity before it starts causing pain, you probably will not need extensive treatment. Treatment of cavities depends on how severe they are and your particular situation. Treatment options include:
- Fluoride treatments
- Root canals
- Tooth extractions
Answer, “Do I have a Cavity?” Today!
When was the last time you had a checkup at the dentist’s office? If it has been a while, then now is the time to schedule an appointment with Marcus Black, DDS. We offer a wide range of cosmetic dentistry services and general dentistry services. You can answer “do I have a cavity” today by calling 479.322.3548.