How to Spot Cavity Symptoms Early
Cavities are perhaps the most common causes of dental discomfort. When they’re forming, though, patients may experience no pain or symptoms whatsoever.
An experienced dentist can spot the signs of a cavity and take the appropriate actions to prevent the decay from progressing. This is why it’s so important to schedule regular dental visits at least twice each year. If you’ve recently been experiencing painful toothaches, notice or suspect that you may have a tooth cavity and live in Riverside County, contact Lakefront Family Dentistry at (951) 244-9495 or Make an Appointment Online Today!
It’s important to be able to distinguish the symptoms of a cavity from those that cause potentially more serious problems. Regardless of the cause, it’s always wise to schedule a dental appointment if you believe a cavity is forming.
Tooth cavity symptoms include:
- Mild to extreme toothache
- Sensitive areas around the teeth
- Pain while eating
- Holes in the teeth
- Any sort of pus or fluid on the tooth
When it comes to cavities, prevention is often the best treatment. Regular dental visits not only allow an opportunity to catch these problems early, but they also provide patients with a chance to learn the latest, most effective oral-care regimens. The sooner the dentist can address a cavity, the less likely it is that more involved treatments, like root canals, will be necessary.
What Causes a Tooth Cavity?
Tooth decay is most often the result of poor dental hygiene. After eating, bacteria in the mouth break down the food into acid. When combined with saliva, this acid forms plaque, which remains on the teeth and is difficult to remove. Plaque tends to be most concentrated on the rear molars and the gum line.
Acids in plaque and tartar will then eat through tooth enamel and create holes. These holes are known as cavities. In general, cavities tend to be painless until they have already caused damage.
This is why preventative care is so important, and if a patient notices symptoms, it’s best to contact a dental professional immediately. If left ignored, the acid can eat through the enamel, causing the tooth to facture, chip or even develop an infection that could lead to a tooth abscess.
Receiving Treatment for a Cavity
There are several treatments for cavities, and the ideal approach depends on the severity of the damage. In general, the longer the patient waits before addressing the issue, the more severe the damage becomes. In some extreme cases, a root canal might be necessary.
A typical treatment for a cavity involves the removal of the parts of the tooth that have decayed and filling the remaining space with silver, porcelain, gold or another type of composite resin. The ideal material may depend on the location of the tooth.
If left untreated, cavities can actually cause the tooth to break. In these cases, the dentist may attach a gold or porcelain crown over what remains of the tooth to restore strength and shape.
How to Prevent Cavities
Practicing effective dental hygiene is the best way to prevent tooth decay and cavities. Flossing every day, brushing twice daily and having professional cleanings periodically are all necessary to maintain proper oral health.
Responsible oral care also can prevent other types of dental problems, such as gingivitis. As well, some studies link poor oral hygiene to cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke and heart attack, and cognitive disorders, like dementia.
Understanding which types of foods are more likely to cause cavities is another helpful tactic in preventing them. Sugars and starches react with bacteria to produce more plaque-causing acid.
Sticky foods can cause plaque and tartar to remain on the teeth. While it’s not necessary to avoid these foods entirely, brushing or drinking water shortly after consuming them can help.
Dental Care for the Whole Family
Dr. Hauser will be happy to help if you or a loved one is experiencing tooth cavity symptoms. With a team comprising three registered dental hygienists and a facility that features the latest technology, Lakefront Family Dentistry provides exceptional patient care and stunning results.
If you’re in need of a family dentist in Riverside County, Contact Lakefront Family Dentistry at (951) 244-9495 or Make an Appointment Online Today!