Have you ever cringed with tooth pain while enjoying a sugary treat? Likely, that’s a cavity knocking on your dental door. But don’t worry, understanding how to spot, prevent, and manage cavities with advice from your dentist can keep your smile shining.
Cavities, also called dental caries or tooth decay, happen when mouth bacteria’s acid attacks your tooth’s outer layer, the enamel. These bacteria thrive on sugars and form plaque with saliva and food bits. This plaque is the harbors bacteria that lead to cavities. Therefore, plaque removal through brushing and flossing is a great defense.
Among other symptoms, bad breath, despite brushing, flossing and even minty mouthwash, might be a sign of an undetected cavity.
Spotting cavities early can save you trouble. Look for:
- Tooth Sensitivity: Pain with hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods.
- Discomfort: Pain, especially while chewing.
- Structural Changes: Weakened teeth, larger cavities, or fractures.
- Infection: Severe pain, swelling, or an abscess.
- Bad Breath: Accumulating bacteria can lead to chronic bad breath.
- Appearance Changes: Dark spots or holes on your tooth
If you suspect a cavity, it is a good idea to book an appointment with your dentist. Early intervention is the best course of action. The dentist may use x-rays to assess the damage. Early cavities are often filled with a composite filling, or amalgam. If your cavity has progressed to a severe state, a root canal might be needed. a root canal procedure is performed to save a tooth that has been severely infected or damaged. During a root canal, the infected pulp inside the tooth is carefully removed, the root canals are cleaned, and then the tooth is sealed to prevent further infection. After the root canal, a dental crown is often placed over the tooth to provide additional strength and protection. Finally, in extreme cases, a tooth might need to be removed.
Prevention is better than cure:
- Regular Brushing: Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque.
- Daily Flossing: Clean between teeth to remove food bits and plaque.
- Healthy Diet: Limit sugary and starchy foods.
- Fluoride Defense: Consider fluoride mouthwash or treatments.
- Dental Check-ups: Visit your dentist every six months.
With vigilance and good oral care, you can tackle cavities. Spot the signs, act swiftly, and prioritize dental visits. Prevention is your best friend. For more insights, visit tclevelanddds.com and read more about cavity prevention.