Tooth decay is one of the biggest threats to our oral health. While it’s avoidable, about 20% of Americans have not visited their dentist recently, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meaning that tooth decay could be going unnoticed and untreated. Dental fillings are the solution to most cavities that are identified early. However, many people aren’t aware that they have a cavity until its later stages. Being able to recognize the signs of a cavity is important so that you can make an appointment with a local family dentist for treatment as soon as possible. Here is some information about how to spot tooth decay, as well as some basic information about the process of treating it.
Different Kinds of Tooth Decay
Many people are unaware that there are different types of cavities. A dental health professional can establish which kind you have and pursue proper treatment. Types of tooth decay include:
- Recurrent decay: This kind of decay manifests around fillings and crowns that are already in your mouth that have plaque building up around them. In this instance, a filling could block infection from getting to the pulp, eliminating the need for a root canal.
- Root cavities: These occur when your gums recede, making the roots of your teeth vulnerable to decay. Tooth roots do not have the same protective enamel that the rest of our teeth have.
- Coronal cavities: This is the cavity that pops up most frequently. They are typically found between the teeth or on the surfaces of our teeth and can usually be treated with a filling.
Signs You May Require a Dental Filling
Most of these symptoms do not appear in the early days of having a cavity. That is why it is so important to stop by your dentist’s office twice a year for dental cleanings. Some of the signs that show themselves over time include:
- Noticable damage to an existing filling
- Floss breaking when flossing a specific tooth or area
- A cracked or damaged tooth
- Dark spots on your teeth
- A visible hole in your tooth
- Sudden or intense pain when biting down
- Throbbing pain when biting down
- Sensitivity while munching on foods that are sweet, cold, or hot
The Cavity Filling Procedure
Your local dentist will administer a local anesthetic to ensure that you don’t feel pain during the process. They will then apply a weak acid to the affected tooth to open up your enamel’s pores. The dentist will cleanse and dry the tooth before placing a composite resin material onto it. They use a blue light to harden the resin quickly. Then, the tooth gets smoothed and shined and you’re left with a stunning smile.
If you think you may have symptoms of a cavity, contact Thomas Dentistry to tend to it. Our caring professionals work quickly and ensure that you are receiving the best dental service possible.