For patients who have been avoiding seeing a general dentist because of fear or apprehension, it may be helpful to know that they are not alone. A 2015 study published in Dental Research Journal found that 58.8% of dental patients surveyed experienced dental anxiety. For patients with severe dental phobia, there are several steps they…
How To Tell If You Have a Cavity
A cavity results when the enamel, which is the outermost and visible layer of teeth, erodes away due to acidic attacks caused by bacteria and food particles. Cavities worsen the longer they go untreated, so detecting them early and seeking prompt restorative dental care is important.
What are the signs of a dental cavity?
The early signs of a dental cavity include a visible hole or pit, tooth discoloration, pain while chewing, sensitivity, and toothache. If one or more of these symptoms develop, then it is important to notify the dentist and schedule a visit for an oral examination and treatment.
A visible hole or pit
The word cavity refers to a hole that exists on an otherwise solid object. In dentistry, the term is used to describe eroded tooth enamel, which creates a hole or pit, depending on the location of the decay. Therefore, if a hole or pit can be seen or felt, then it suggests a cavity is likely unless the hole or pit is caused by trauma and not decay. In either case, seeking prompt care is important.
Tooth discoloration can result when the tooth develops a cavity. This typically appears as a darker color and is relatively noticeable. The size of the discoloration may spread the longer the cavity goes untreated. Before the cavity forms, teeth may turn a lighter white color once the enamel weakens and officially erodes away. Any discoloration should be promptly addressed and treated by a dentist, either through filling the cavity, root canal therapy, or strengthening the enamel through fluoride treatment.
Pain while chewing
Dental cavities expose the underlying layers of teeth. In these layers, there are far more nerves than in the enamel, which means that pain can intensify the deeper the cavity spreads toward the root of the tooth. One way this pain is noticed is by chewing, particularly when pressure is placed on the tooth.
Due to the exposure of the underlying layers of teeth, cavities also can cause sensitivity as well. This is typically at its worst when the tooth is exposed to hot or cold substances, such as hot foods or frozen drinks. Sensitivity is a sign that the cavity is spreading toward the root and could lead to more severe complications if left untreated.
An aching tooth
A toothache that remains constant and does not improve on its own is also a concerning sign of a cavity. If left untreated, it could lead to an infection and thus far more invasive treatment. Therefore, any toothache that does not go away within a few hours requires prompt care from a dentist.
Schedule a visit with our team for cavity detection and treatment
If you have symptoms of a cavity or simply are due for your next check-up, then contact our office today to schedule a visit. We offer cavity detection and treatment, and we can help you put together a plan for cavity prevention in the long term.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Cavity in Tacoma, WA.
Many people use the terms dental office and dental clinic interchangeably. The confusion is understandable, but they are not exactly the same thing. Dental offices have to contain a dental clinic, but there are also dental clinics that exist in places other than dental offices.A dental clinic is a place where a dentist performs oral…
Just about every patient who visits a dental practice will leave with a few tips about oral hygiene. Dental professionals can be a valuable resource for how to keep the mouth healthy and can talk at length about oral hygiene. Here are four things a dentist may want you to know about how to care…
The local dental center might not be a favorite place to visit, but it is vital for maintaining oral health. If you have not had an appointment with a dentist for a while, you may have forgotten what takes place during a dental checkup. This can be especially helpful if you have any anxiety about…