A cavity is a permanently damaged area in the hard surface of the tooth that turns into a small hole or opening. Cavities, a form of tooth decay, have many causes, including poor oral hygiene, frequent snacking and sipping on sugary drinks, and bacteria in the mouth. Frequent vomiting, dry mouth, or acid reflux can also cause cavities to form. Very small cavities may be reversible with good oral hygiene and fluoride products that remineralize the damaged tooth enamel, but many cavities require fillings, crowns, or root canals.
Only a dental professional can determine the best course of treatment for an individual cavity. It’s important to treat a cavity as soon as possible before the decay continues and spreads throughout the tooth. Treating a cavity before it causes tooth pain is ideal, as pain typically indicates that the decay has spread too far and a more aggressive method of treatment beyond a filling may be needed. In this article, we’ll talk about a few of the signs that you might have a cavity in one or more of your teeth!
One of the first and most obvious signs of a cavity is tooth pain. This could come in the form of a sharp pain or a dull ache, seemingly without cause. As the cavity worsens, so can the pain that it causes.
Another symptom of a cavity is mild to sharp pain or sensitivity when consuming something cold, hot, or sweet. Pain when biting down could also be caused by a cavity. Your teeth may become sensitive to these things because a cavity can cause the nerve endings in the inner pulp layer to be exposed.
One more sign of a cavity is tooth discoloration. You might be able to see a small hole forming on the tooth, or black, brown, white, or yellow staining on the tooth that indicates a cavity. If you notice any of these signs, you should consult with your dentist as soon as possible.
Contact Gentle Dental Maine!
If you have any additional questions about cavities, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at Gentle Dental Maine! Our family dentists specialize in general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry services at each of our offices in South Portland, Biddeford, and Topsham. Give us a call at any one of our offices, or if you’re not yet a patient with us, please fill out the new patient form on our website!