Utah County Dentist Answers: How Do I Know if I Have a Cavity?

According to the National Institutes of Health, the only condition more prevalent than tooth decay is the common cold. If you are afraid you have a cavity, you may be right! Although cavities are hard to detect on your own in the beginning, once the decay has progressed and if you eat sweets, you may trigger the pain of a cavity. Whether or not you are in the beginning stages or more advanced stages of a cavity, the best way to maintain your teeth and avoid more cavities is by seeing your dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning.

How Do Cavities Form?

While your mouth is full of bacteria, not all bacteria is harmless. In fact, when you eat sugary or starchy foods like pretzels or candy, the bacteria in your mouth feeds on that sugar and then produces acid. The acid formed when bacteria metabolizes sugar is strong enough to break down the enamel of your teeth. Your enamel, or the hard protective shell of your teeth, will erode completely when the dangerous acid is left on the surface of your teeth for an extended period of time and a dental cavity or cavities begin to form.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has found that cavities can be reversed when detected and treated at an early stage in their formation. Fluoridated toothpaste and fluoride mouthwash can help strengthen your enamel and prevent cavities from growing larger.

Do I Have a Cavity?

How can you know you have a cavity? Until the cavity grows large enough to hit a nerve, you will feel nothing. The enamel has no nerves, so an enamel-deep cavity can only be detected by a dental professional. If your cavity becomes large enough to penetrate the soft inner core of your teeth called the "dentin", you may start to feel the signs of a cavity. You may experience sensitivity to cold or hot foods, feel a dull ache or sharp pain when eating sweets, or you may even experience mild swelling in rare cases.

Aside from oral pain, you may be able to see cavities form on the surface of your teeth. You can recoginize cavities by the brown or yellow spots they form on your teeth's surface.

Why Do My Teeth Hurt When I Eat Sugar?

Why do sweet foods make your cavities hurt? The enamel erosion caused by tooth decay allows acid to penetrate the tender core of your teeth. When you eat sweet foods, the bacteria in your mouth produce acid that burns the nerves in your teeth. produced. This results in sensitivity and pain when you eat sweet foods on an advanced cavity.

Visit the Dentist

If you think you have a cavity, you should call and schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. Preventing or reversing a cavity is possible in the early stages, but by the time you feel sensitivity or pain only a dentist can reverse the damage.

Your dentist will take an x-ray to see how deep your cavity goes. Typically, dentists fill a cavity with metal to strengthen the tooth and prevent bacteria from hiding in the crevices and deep pores formed by the cavity. In severe cases, your dentist will need to replace part of your tooth with a crown and/or root canal.

Whether or not you think you have a cavity, seeing a dentist every 6 months is the best way to save the pain and expense of treating cavities and other dental emergencies. The reason the American Dental Association recommends a cleaning and exam with your dentist twice a year is because perfectly healthy teeth can start to decay in 6 months without proper maintenance.

Platinum Dental Care has been providing service for patients in Utah looking for a "Dentist Near Me" for over 30 years. Our service is top-notch and our practices carry the latest dental technology. We never over-charge and we strive for complete transparency in our billing and treatment proposals. If you are new to Utah County, Wasatch County, or Salt Lake County, call Platinum Dental Care today at 801-806-4645.