A cavity is one of those “bad” words that you just don’t want to utter at the dentist’s office. But you may have to if you are not careful with the delicate enamel of your teeth. Over time, it is very common for your everyday lifestyle to take a toll on strong, white, and healthy teeth. In fact, you could have a cavity right now – and not even know it! What should you do? Well, never fear. Just follow this simple guide to detecting a cavity.
How to Tell if You Have a Cavity in 3 Simple Steps
What does having a cavity feel like? And how do you know if you have a cavity? Here is how to tell:
- You Feel It. Sensitivity is the first sign of a cavity. It could be occurring around the gumline, between teeth or on top of a tooth. If you notice any type of pain it is because the decay has reached the dentin and nerves of your teeth.
- Still Sensitive. Pain is one thing, but when you notice that your mouth is overly sensitive to heat or cold it may be the sign of a cavity. If the pain is sharp and intense when you bite down or eat food, check the area for cavities.
- Visible Holes. When you can see a dark area – you have cavities. These may also look like a stain and appear to be darker shades of white, brown or black on your teeth.
How to know if you have a cavity is the first step in reducing the impact of this type of tooth decay on your overall dental health. When they form, it is usually due to regular wear and tear from acidity, sugar or a loss of minerals. Regardless of how the tooth decay occurs, it can be prevented, stopped or even reversed at any point. However, when you attempt to reverse the damage caused by tooth decay (cavities) it is vital that you talk to your dentist.
You see, the tooth decay process is continual, meaning there could be a number of points to address:
- A balanced diet rich in minerals
- Water consumption
- Regular rinsing
- Other changes in your behavior that result in stronger tooth enamel
Over time, making small changes can result in BIG changes at the dentist’s office. If enough essential minerals are lost through diet, your tooth enamel can weaken and thus become even more susceptible to cavity formation. This is the most common reason people seek the help of their dentist in order to heal a cavity. Just remember: tooth decay can also be prevented by avoiding sugary foods and beverages, acidic foods as well as improper dental care. So, always follow the recommendations of your dentist.
In addition to the suggestions, your dentist makes, you can also use these DIY tips to heal a cavity at home.
- Use fluoride toothpaste for strengthening
- Try cocoa powder. The powder contains theobromine – a compound shown in clinical trials as an effective teeth strengthener.
- Drink fluoridated bottled water
- Limit sweet foods and beverages
- Always brush before bed
- Floss between meals or rinse
- Supervise children under the age of 6 with any dental care routine
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research notes that once tooth enamel is fully decayed, only a professional dentist can repair the damage. So, never assume that these at-home remedies are a final solution for a cavity. Do your best to prevent them and reach out to us at Gables Sedation and Family Dentistry if you are uncertain about how to tell if you have a cavity.