Identifying and Treating Cavities

Taking care of oral hygiene plays an integral part in staying healthy. Almost 91% of Americans experience tooth decay that gradually leads to cavities! Tooth decay doesn’t only cause excruciating pain, but if left untreated, it can lead to severe problems like cavities, infections, and puss formation.

Cavities can happen to anyone, regardless of age, and should be addressed as soon as you start to notice any signs and symptoms. Cavities can be reversed if you seek out dental care as soon as possible. This is why recognizing the signs and symptoms of a cavity is crucial for your health.

What Are Cavities?

A cavity is defined as a hole that can develop in your teeth following tooth decay. Tooth decay can affect the tooth enamel (its outer coating) and dentin (the inner layer). The damage done from a cavity can increase with time as the hole in your tooth grows bigger and even deeper. One of the signs of having a severe tooth decay and cavities is that you will feel the cavity touching the nerve endings inside your tooth.

Cavities also allow the development of bacteria in your mouth. Each time you ingest food and beverages, the bacteria feed on it and produce harmful acids that damage your teeth, making holes and cavities.

Signs And Symptoms To Look Out For

Cavity symptoms can go easily unnoticed in the beginning. These symptoms depend on how large the cavity is and where it is located. These symptoms get worse with time, especially if left untreated, and they only start to become noticeable once the cavity is severe. Serious cavities call for emergency dental services.

Woman flossing her teeth

Here are some of the obvious signs and symptoms during a cavity that you should not ignore.

  • Debilitating pain and toothache
  • Heightened teeth sensitivity
  • Pain when eating anything hot, cold, or sweet
  • Pain when biting down on something
  • Holes on the surface of your tooth. This can be in the center of your molars, premolars, or the sides of your incisors
  • A filmy patch covering your tooth that appears white is a sign of plaque eroding the tooth enamel.
  • Any discolorations, including yellowing and browning of the teeth. This happens because the plaque erodes the enamel. Gray and black spots indicate irreversibly damaged enamel.

If you notice any of these signs, please visit our emergency dentists in Woodland Hills.

Risk Factors And Causes Of Cavities

Cavities can happen due to many reasons. When carbohydrate-containing foods like bread, milk, cereal, cake, and candy tend to stay in your teeth, mouth bacteria converts those carbohydrates into acids that start to cause tooth decay: the acid, bacteria, saliva, and food debris combine and form plaque. Plaque starts to form a film around your teeth, and it can erode tooth enamel and gradually form holes called cavities.

Do Only Children Get Cavities?  

Most people think that only children get cavities, but that’s not the case. Adults are just as susceptible to getting cavities and periodontal disease.

The gums start to loosen up and pull away from your teeth as you get older. This exposes the roots of the teeth and makes your teeth more vulnerable to diseases. This risk is also elevated if there is an avid consumption of high-carb and sugary foods.

Here are some things you can be careful about to prevent cavities:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene:Make sure you floss and brush your teeth two times a day. Poor brushing can allow food debris to settle into your teeth and cause decay.
  • Too Much Sugar:Any food or drink with high sugar content will cling to your teeth. This can be anything like soda, ice cream, cereal, chips, etc. Try to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet!
  • Fluoride:Make sure your toothpaste has Fluoride! This mineral prevents cavities and reverses any tooth damage giving you healthy teeth.
  • Dry Mouth:If you’re suffering from dry mouth, you may be at risk of periodontal disease. Production of saliva is necessary to wash away any food or plaque in your teeth. Make sure you take the necessary medicines and sip a lot of water throughout the day.
  • Acid Reflux:Acid reflux is the condition where the stomach acid can be sent back into your mouth. This acid can erode your teeth and cause cavities.
  • Eating Disorders:An eating disorder where a person throws up repeatedly can also cause cavity and tooth decay because the stomach acid is harmful to teeth.

What Are My Treatment Options?     

If you recognize any of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s best to start caring for your teeth and get professional and urgent dental care.

Don’t risk your oral health any further, and visit our dental clinic near Woodlands for expert dental care at West Hills Smiles. Our team of dentists consists of the best dentists in Woodland Hills. They are well-experienced general dentistry practitioners and will help you get to the root of your oral health issues in no time. Our services are highly affordable, and for your convenience, we accept cash, checks, debit, Visa, and MasterCard for payment!

Contact us and check out our page for our emergency, general, and cosmetic dental services. Book an appointment today to get started!