What is a Cavity?
What is a Cavity …and why you shouldn’t wait to visit the Dentist if you think you have one?
If you are like most people, you may suspect that you have a cavity, or that perhaps something is wrong with a tooth but you hesitate to visit the dentist.
Joining the many who find out they do indeed have a dental cavity when they visit a dentist due to severe pain. But did you know pain due to dental cavities range from very mild to severe depending on how it progresses.
In some cases, if the decay progresses very slowly, pain may be totally absent. It can also manifest as ‘sinusitis-like’ pain in the cheek bones, pain in the ears, neck, shoulders and back.
Early detection, restoration and prevention helps in many ways, it stops decay from spreading to other healthy teeth, gums, bone and organs. It stops the pain, clears the infection and ensures your dental treatments are non-invasive and cost effective for your pocket book.
Here are a few signals which should trigger you to call the Dentist Stat:
Food getting stuck between or on the teeth
This is one of the most common complaints people have, and is directly related to major dental decay. Since decay creates ‘holes’ or cavities on the upper surface of the teeth or on the sides, the gap between the teeth is increased. This in turn causes food to get stuck between the teeth. The food then stuck between your teeth can release putrid smells giving you bad breath.
It is painful to chew properly with certain teeth
When dental decay progresses to the pulp, which is the innermost part of the tooth full of nerves, and the periodontal space, which is the tissue that anchors the tooth to the bone, an infection is created and pus is formed. This is what causes the pain when biting down on the affected area.
Highly sensitive teeth
One of the first signs of dental cavities is sensitivity to cold foods and is an indication that the tooth may still be alive with a high possibility of saving the tooth with a filling. If not treated on time you will then start to feel sensitivity and pain when you consume anything hot, this may be a sign of a now dying or dead tooth. Once this happens it may warrant a root canal treatment or other more invasive options which increases the time length, and cost of treatment.
Chipping off or fracturing of teeth
If you find your teeth chipping off when you bite or chew on anything moderately hard, it is a sign of serious dental decay making the enamel vulnerable to fractures.
Darkening of teeth
Darkening of teeth which were earlier fine is a sign of dental decay. When the decay progresses to the pulp, it destroys the dentine, and the dying or dead pulp produces certain pigments which makes the teeth look dark.
Swelling in gums
When the dental decay reaches the pulp of the tooth it then progresses to the tissues surrounding it along with the bone, it also continues to generate more pus which can cause swelling in the gums and often has to be treated immediately with Antibiotics.