October 24, 2014

“Do I have a Cavity?” – Warning Signs of Tooth Decay

Foods containing sugars and starches remain on your teeth, feeding bacteria living in your mouth. As the food turns into acid, it contributes to the growth of plaque. This substance clings to your teeth, dissolves their enamel surface, and creates the holes known as cavities. As the holes grow, the cavities cause tooth decay, a condition that destroys the structure of your teeth and risks your white smile.

If you want to protect your teeth from cavities, you need to detect the early signs fairly early before taking action. The following lines will guide you on both aspects.

The Warning Signs of Tooth DecayDetecting Cavities and Treating Them

If you start feeling any of the following symptoms, you’ll need to book an appointment with your dentist.

  • Difference in Color of Teeth – The outer layer of enamel is usually translucent. However, if you notice chalky or opaque spots, you’re suffering from a cavity.
  • Food Stuck in Teeth – This is the most common complaint people voice when suffering from cavities. Your food can also get stuck on your teeth, so make sure to check the mirror before you leave.
  • Inability to Chew – If you can’t chew with some teeth, it can be due to dental decay reaching the pulp and the tissue connecting the tooth to the bone.
  • Sensitive Teeth – Cavities kill your teeth, causing them to become more sensitive to hot and cold edibles and drinks.
  • Chipped Tooth – If your tooth chips off when you bite something a little hard, your teeth have started decaying. If you don’t visit your dentist soon, the enamel may be more susceptible to fractures.
  • Bad Breath – Food that got stuck between your teeth due to the holes made by cavities will release obnoxious smells, giving you bad breath.
  • Blood on the Toothbrush – Cavities between two teeth may lead to gum tissue growing in the space. Therefore, brushing can harm that tissue and cause it to bleed.
  • Swelling Gums – Your gums are bound to swell if the cavities reach the pulp of your tooth and moves on to the surrounding tissue. In this case, you need to get treatment immediately.

Dental Treatment of Cavities

There are different treatments offered for cavities, but the simplest for minor decaying is replacing the damaged portion of the tooth with a filling. There are four types of fillings offered here at Dr. Dental:

  1. Silver Fillings – Amalgam are the most common as they’re inexpensive. However, they’re noticeable, which is why they’re used for the back of the mouth.
  2. Gold Fillings – The most expensive types of fillings, these can last for 20 years or more as they’re easily tolerated by your gums.
  3. Plastic Fillings – Also known as composite, these are made to match the natural color of the teeth. However, they don’t last long and are bound to be chipped or discolored in time.
  4. Porcelain Fillings – Crafted in labs and bonded by dentists, these are long-lasting fillings that are made to match your teeth. They’re as expensive as gold fillings and aren’t covered by most insurance policies.

In more severe cases, your dentist may suggest a cap or crown. However, if the damage reaches the roots, your dentist will have to perform a root canal to save your tooth.

So make sure to detect any signs of cavities early. Better yet, avoid cavities by taking preventative dental care and visiting your dentist regularly. That way, your smile can remain healthy and white.

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