How do you know if you have cavities in your teeth? Your dentist may have told you, or you may be living with a serious amount of pain in one or more of your teeth. Most people only experience discomfort in their teeth when decay has gone on for a bit too long. This is because the decay will take some time to make its way through the enamel and into the dentin. It is only when it has gotten into this area of the tooth’s structure that the real pain begins.
Regardless of how you found out about a cavity or two, it is essential to get the issue dealt with straight away. This is because cavities don’t stop or slow in their progress and will just continue to expand and consume healthy materials.
How do they start? Most cavities are formed by acids interacting with the surface of the teeth. This allows small holes to be formed, for infection to set in, and for cavities to begin their destructive work.
So, what can be done once this nasty situation occurs? The dentist will have to take x-rays to measure the extent of the decay. If the cavity has grown deeply into the tooth, they may have no alternative but to immediately recommend a “root canal”. This takes away the pulp and nerve tissue inside of the tooth and fills it with an impervious material that cannot succumb to decay in the future. They might also recommend something like a “crown”. This is when the entire upper portion of the tooth (known as the “crown”) has almost entirely succumbed to decay. Because the dentist cannot fill a tooth that has rotted away, they will take a mold and make a replacement crown to cover what remains of the original tooth. They will do the proper filling treatment, but will also cover this with the replacement tooth.
They might also just indicate that you need a “filling”. This is an extremely common procedure that involves drilling away the infected portion of the tooth and filling it in with a range of different materials. The most common of the filling materials are the white or porcelain fillings because they are nearly unnoticeable.
Cavities are also easily preventable by simple daily oral hygiene. The person who flosses and brushes a few times a day, keeps sugar to a minimum, and drinks plenty of sugarless fluids is likely to have far fewer cavities than someone who doesn’t follow the same procedures.