What Is a Cavity?When food and bacteria build up in your teeth, it can form plaque. It is the bacteria in plaque that erodes the enamel of your teeth. Enamel is the protective layer covering your teeth. Once this layer has been worn away or dissolved by bacteria, your tooth is defenseless. Bacteria then eat away at your tooth, causing a cavity. A cavity is simply a hole in your tooth. When left untreated, it eventually destroys the tooth. This is called tooth decay and can have serious health effects for your entire body and not just your mouth. This is why brushing and flossing after every meal are so important because it prevents plaque from developing. Similarly, regular teeth cleanings are an excellent way to remove and prevent plaque build-up, while fluoride treatments can strengthen enamel. All of this helps prevent cavities from developing and keep up your oral health.
Signs of CavitiesThere are some fairly direct and simple ways to tell if you or your child may have a cavity. Perhaps the clearest sign is when you can see a hole or pit in your tooth. Cavities can also be felt by your tongue when you run it over the surface of your teeth. When you notice this, then you need to make an appointment with Supreme Dentistry. However, there are several other signs you may have a cavity such as:
- Temperature sensitivity: Whether it’s too hot or cold liquids or foods (or both) when your teeth start experiencing sensitivity while eating or after it could be a sign, you have a cavity. Usually, tooth sensitivity emerges because your enamel has worn away and, if this is the case, the likelihood of a cavity increases.
- Sensitivity to sweets: Temperature sensitivity is the most common and immediate sign of a cavity, but a lingering sensitivity after eating something sweet or having a sugary drink can also suggest cavities may be present.
- Toothache: When you experience an ongoing dull ache or sharp pain in one or more of your teeth, you likely have a cavity. Such pain is a direct symptom of a cavity. Toothaches can arise when you bite down as well as be persistent pain in your jaw. Either way, it’s necessary to see your dentist.
- Stains: If you notice white spots on your teeth, it can be a sign of trouble. Stains or discoloration often appears first as irregularly shaped white spots but then can turn darker to a brown or black.
- Bad Breath and Unpleasant Taste: A sign you have cavities can be bad breath caused by the bacteria in your mouth. An infected tooth can also cause bad breath. The same bacteria can affect how you taste. If you are experiencing persistent bad breath, then you need to talk with your dentist.
Supreme DentistryTo avoid dental cavities, do your best to practice good oral hygiene. Let your dentist at Supreme Dentistry know if you are experiencing any of the signs mentioned above. The sooner you catch a cavity, the better your chances are of only needing a dental filling rather than a more invasive procedure. At Supreme Dentistry, we’re proud to provide family and other general dentistry services to our patients as well as emergency dental services. Our treatment options include:
- Dental cleanings
- Dental fillings
- Teeth whitening
- Dental implants