They are the four dreaded words that you do not want to hear when you visit the dentist. “You have a cavity!” Cavities are holes that form in teeth as a result of tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs as a result of not removing the items that form plaque on the teeth. Sugars combine with bacteria in the mouth to form acids which can work to dissolve the enamel of teeth. The result is a cavity. You can usually tell if you have one. Here are three signs that you have a cavity.
Teeth can be sensitive to very hot or cold foods, sugary foods, or even increased pressure. The formation of a cavity will lead to an increased level of sensitivity especially near where it has formed. This is a cause for concern and a dentist should be consulted as soon as possible since early detection can prevent the cavity from spreading.
If you have tooth pain, this should be a cause of concern. When you have tooth decay, you will feel some pain after eating foods or consuming drinks that are sweet, hot, or cold. A constant toothache is a sure sign that you may have a cavity.
Less Than Desirable Breath
Bad breath can be caused by several things, but one of them is a cavity. The bacteria in the mouth that combines with saliva and acids to produce a cavity also makes one’s breath smell very unpleasant. Bad breath can be an indication that a person has a cavity.
When a cavity has been identified, there are several different treatments available. The type of treatment is related to the severity of the cavity. If one of the signs of a cavity is recognized early and the tooth decay is not extensive, a filling is used. A dentist removes the decayed portion of the tooth by drilling it. That portion of the tooth is replaced typically with a silver alloy or a composite resin. Some are filled with gold and others with porcelain.
More severe cavities may require a crown. If the decay is extensive and much of the tooth must be removed, a crown is placed on top of the tooth. Even more severe treatment is the root canal, where the pulp of the tooth is removed and the roots are sealed. A crown is then placed on the tooth.
If you experience one of the signs of a cavity, it is best to have it checked immediately. If caught quickly, a small cavity can be taken care of easily before it leads to more severe damage to a tooth.