While you should visit your dentist twice a year for bi-annual cleanings at a minimum, don’t hesitate to make an additional appointment if you sense something wrong with your teeth, rather than be among the 26% of Americans with untreated tooth decay. Cavities, for example, are a common problem which can worsen without treatment. The guide below explores some symptoms of this condition.
If you are in otherwise good health and you suddenly experience a sharp pain in your mouth, a cavity has probably formed, causing the tissues inside your tooth to become inflamed or infected. Make an appointment with a dentist> before the damage, and the associated pain, spread. Cavities can quickly lead to more expensive procedures like dental crowns and root canals.
The dentin in your teeth is filled with nerves. When the outer enamel layer is weakened, this dentin is exposed, causing a sharp reaction when placed in contact with extreme temperatures, acidic foods, or sweet treats.
You may see a small hole or pit on the problematic tooth’s surface. While these can often be treated with fillings, left too long without a dentist’s care, the problem will worsen until it requires a root canal to fix.
While teeth naturally discolor with time, look for a spot that is different than the rest. Cavities typically begin as white spots, but if you consume stain-heavy drinks or foods, they may cause it to darken. If you notice staining, it’s a good sign to visit your dentist for an exam to see if it is just a stain, or the start of something more serious. The good news, if it’s just a stain, Station Dental has great options for teeth whitening!
Preventing future cavities is also possible through good oral hygiene, or even placing dental sealants, which are not just a treatment for children. Sealants can postpone the onset of cavities and are a very inexpensive option.