Shockingly, of adults, 92% have or had a cavity. Tooth decay is the most common disease on the planet! This is mostly because of the sugar consumption of most people.
Are cavities typically painful? When should you check with Dr. Aerni? Continue reading to learn how to tell if you have a cavity, and how to handle it.
Spotting A Cavity
Cavities happen when the surface of the tooth is damaged by acid and bacteria. This ultimately creates what we call dental caries, or a cavity, which is basically a pit in the tooth enamel. The cavity starts at the outermost layer, the enamel, but will continue on to the dentin, or inner layer of the tooth.
At times, you can spot a cavity if you see a dark spot on your tooth. This won’t always indicate a cavity, though. Occasionally, dark spots may just be stains due to food or drinks.
In other cases, a spot may not be there even when there is a cavity present. Also, these spots could be due to an injury or even be the result of some types of medications. When it comes down to it, you should visit Aerni Dental for an exam, if you suspect you might have a cavity.
What About Tooth Pain?
How far along the cavity is can determine whether or not it causes you pain. There likely won’t be any pain when the tooth decay is only in the enamel, but the pain will start as the decay goes deeper into the tooth. Sensitivity to hot and cold or pain can happen when the tooth decay reaches the dentin of the tooth.
You should always have any tooth pain examined by the dentist since it could lead to a serious infection or the loss of a tooth. The sooner the dentist can address tooth decay, the more likely it will be easier to treat.
Dr. Aerni will check your mouth for cavities by identifying soft spots on your teeth. He will also take x-rays to spot decay that may be hidden, such as between teeth.
How to Protect Yourself From Tooth Decay
You can end up with cavities when foods with sugar or carbohydrates like bread, cake, fruit, candy, and others remain on your teeth for too long. Bacteria in your mouth break these down and turns them into acid. When the acid combines with your saliva, it turns into plaque, which clings to the teeth. It will slowly wear down the enamel of the tooth.
To avoid tooth decay, be sure to steer clear of beverages and foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates and brush and floss regularly in order to remove any plaque that is on your teeth.
Don’t Put It Off! Call Us!
There’s no way to learn if you have a cavity unless you go to a dentist. Once there’s a cavity in your tooth, it only gets more serious over time. The more time that goes by, the more damage is done. If you are concerned about your teeth or mouth, be sure to contact our office as soon as you can.