Unless you are one of the very few people that have never had a cavity, you know that they can cause a variety of symptoms and problems if left untreated. The American diet is filled with sugars and acids that take a serious toll on the protective coating (enamel) that covers our teeth. Some individuals may be predisposed and susceptible to developing more cavities just based on the makeup of the surface of their teeth but a cavity can wreak havoc on any tooth regardless. Knowing when you may have a cavity can save yourself pain and money by getting it fixed early but the symptoms may not always show early.
When the enamel and minerals of a tooth are broken down and worn away from acids (think soda and sugary drinks), the underlying weak and vulnerable tooth becomes a great place for bacteria to gather and grow. The bacteria will continue to break down the tooth and if left untreated, they will reach the nerve/root of the tooth and will cause serious pain and dental issues. While the most common cavities occur in the crevices of molars (hard to clean) cavities can occur on any surface of a tooth. Sometimes cavities can form on the front of a tooth, while rare, these cavities can involve a bit more creativity to fix. The dental cavity symptoms for the front of a tooth can be very similar to those of a cavity located elsewhere- pain when biting, staining on the tooth surface (white, brown or black), visible pits or holes, tooth sensitivity, toothache or sharp/mild pain when consuming hot/cold/sweet items.
Treatment for a cavity on the front of a tooth can include:
- Crown– if there is an extensive decay of the tooth from the cavity, the dentist will drill away the decayed portion of the tooth and cover the tooth with a crown that can be made from resin, gold, porcelain or other medical-grade substances.
- Filling– fillings are the most popular choice for treating a cavity because of the ease of treatment. For early-stage cavities, the dentist will drill out the small decayed portion of the tooth and fill the remaining hole/pit with porcelain, composite resin or a combination.
- Fluoride Treatment– for cavities that are just beginning to erode enamel, dentists may choose to treat with fluoride to help restore the enamel of the tooth.
- Root Canal– if the cavity has reached the inner tooth (pulp), a root canal may be necessary. In this case, the dentist with remove the diseased/infected tooth pulp and replace it with a filing.
- Tooth Extraction– if a cavity has been left untreated to the point where there is no treatment method to restore or save the tooth, extraction is the only option.
Besides from a diet low in acids and consistent oral health habits, the best course of preventative action you can take is visiting your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups. At Gables Sedation and Family Dentistry, you will find the very latest technology and techniques to provide you with the most enjoyable visit ever. For all your preventative, restorative and cosmetic dental needs, please visit https://www.gablessedationdentistry.com/restorative-dentistry/.