How to Know You Have a Cavity

Tooth Cavity

Sometimes going to your dentist can offer up a nasty surprise, particularly if you didn’t realise just how many problems you had. Your dentist doesn’t set out to shock you or cause any panic, but if you fail to pick up the signs, take care of your teeth, and get a regular check-up, there’s every possibility these shocks will take place more often than not.

If you’d like to avoid unhappy trips to the dentist in the future, and would rather glowing compliments from them instead, then pay attention to the signs of cavities and decay. We’ve included them below.

How Dentists Detect Decay

Without telling your dentist too much, they can identify signs of decay with relative ease. While they will ask you about any pain or sensitivity, they can pick up a lot of information by examining your mouth, using instruments to probe your teeth, and taking x-rays. Typically, these can show the extent of decay as well as whether you’ve got any in the first place.

Finally, from your dentist’s inspection, they will be able to tell whether you have root decay or fissure, pit, or smooth surface cavities.

How You Detect Decay

By looking at your teeth, it can be challenging to see whether there’s a problem. After all, on the surface, they often look okay. However, there are signs to be on the lookout for that can more than confirm your suspicions of having a cavity. Firstly, toothache and sensitivity are two alarm bells that tell you there are problems. When you feel random, spontaneous pain, it can mean you have decay or a cavity.

If you eat something hot or cold, or overly sweet, and you feel a sharp pain, that’s not a coincidence. Your teeth may be trying to tell you something. What’s more, if there is any notable staining, pain when you bite down, and holes or pits in your teeth, you may have a cavity that needs your dentist’s attention.

What are the Treatment Options for Decay and Cavities?

The treatment for cavities can depend on how far advanced they are. If they are only beginning to form, fluoride treatment can reverse the damage in its tracks. However, the primary treatment for cavities are fillings. These typically feature resin, porcelain, and amalgam and adhere to your teeth to fill the gap.

If your teeth are weak or extensively decayed, then crowns can often be the next step. These replace the entire tooth’s outer shell and adhere to the healthy part of your teeth. If the decay has travelled into the root of your tooth, damaging or infecting it, a root canal is a more viable treatment option for decay and cavities. The dentist often removes the pulp from the root, replacing it with a filling.

On the very extreme end of the scale where your teeth cannot be saved, your dentist may recommend extraction. It’s crucial to replace your tooth with an implant or bridge to reduce the risk of your other teeth shifting to fill the gap.

The more advanced the decay and cavities, the more complex the treatment. Therefore, if you don’t have a rigorous oral hygiene routine, it’s time to start one. See your dentist for regular check-ups then remember to floss and brush at least twice per day.