“You’re probably going to be late,” you remind yourself as you continue staring into the mirror. You are pulling your
lips apart with your fingers, looking quite odd. You aren’t trying to make a funny face, but rather figure out what was that pain you felt in your teeth while you were eating breakfast. You definitely want to see what’s going on. You notice one of your teeth looks a bit different than the other ones, a bit discolored. Does this mean you need to see the dentist in Spring, TX? You might have a cavity, and you certainly should get it checked out.
What Is A Cavity and What Causes It?
Damage to the enamel of a tooth due to decay is commonly known as a cavity. Signs of a cavity might include:
- Tooth ache
- Discoloration in the tooth
- Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Visible holes in the teeth
Whenever you eat or drink, particulates are left on your teeth. Natural bacteria in your mouth feed on this, focusing mostly on the sugar. This causes the bacteria to produce acid which can break down the enamel in your teeth. Infrequent brushing and flossing as well as consistent ingestion of sugary and acidic foods can help accelerate this breakdown. Unless the plaque is consistently removed, this acid will continue to eat through the tooth’s enamel and can continue onto the nerve, or dental pulp.
What If I Have A Cavity?
Once a cavity has developed, the damaged part of the tooth needs to be removed. Small cavities that have been caught early can be taken care of with a filling. This is when the dentist simply removes the portion of the tooth that is affected by the cavity and fills in the gap using a composite liquid resin which quickly hardens. This helps to reinforce the tooth’s structure so it can continue to function. A larger cavity might call for a dental crown, which is a type of restoration that fits over the natural tooth in order to create a new structure. Firstly, the dentist will remove all of the decayed tissue and may need to modify the tooth further in order to accommodate the fitting of the crown. After the crown has been made, it will be placed on your tooth in order to fully restore it. It will blend with your natural teeth and function like one as well. The most extreme cavities, ones that have reached the inner nerve of the tooth, may require a root canal to remove all the damaged tissue.
How Can I Prevent Cavities?
Cavity prevention starts at home with consistent brushing and flossing. This inhibits the bacteria from building up on the teeth and stops the acid it creates from doing damage. You also need regular check-ups at the dentist for a professional cleaning that can reach areas of your teeth that you cannot with brushing. Two visits a year, or every 6 months, is ideal for cavity prevention, or catching them early. Other habits you could adopt are to limit the intake of sugary drinks and supplement it with water. Reduced snacking in between meals also helps prevent cavities because it deprives the bacteria in your mouth a constant source of sugar.
Call Us Today
If you have a cavity, please make an appointment with us today so we can treat it immediately. It will only continue to progress as time goes on. The earlier we can treat it, the simpler and less invasive it needs to be. Make an appointment so we can help stop cavities from forming in the first place. We will do everything we can to keep your teeth healthy and cavity free.