Aside from routine teeth cleaning, the most common reason for someone to visit the dentist is that they fear they’re suffering from tooth decay. Cavities, which are small holes in the teeth, arise due to a combination of bacteria, food residue, and inadequate oral hygiene. Below are some of the most common signs you have a cavity.
What Are the Signs of a Cavity?
1. Tooth Sensitivity
A sensitive tooth is not usually very painful, but you may experience a slight twinge when consuming hot or cold foods and drinks. This occurs when the enamel thins enough to permit stimulation of the nerves within the decayed tooth.
You may also experience a similar discomfort after consuming sweets or other sugary substances. If a routine checkup finds no cavities, consider switching to a toothpaste that offers enamel protection.
2. Lingering Toothache
A toothache that lasts more than a few days could be the result of a cavity. Decay permits bacteria beneath the tooth's surface and into the pulp, or the central section that contains blood vessels and nerve endings.
The bacteria can cause inflammation and swelling, which put pressure on the nerves and cause pain. Until you can visit the dentist, try rinsing with a hydrogen peroxide solution to kill the infection and use over-the-counter remedies like aspirin and a cold compress for pain relief.
Halitosis is the technical term for bad breath. A cavity can result in unpleasant mouth odors because of the presence of bacteria, and this may be exacerbated by an infection.
Brush and floss after each meal to remove bacteria, and consider using a tongue scraper for additional care. Using mouthwash daily can also help. Avoid foods that encourage oral bacteria to flourish, such as processed sugars and sticky treats like raisins or caramel.
If you suspect you have a cavity, contact the dentists at North Chautauqua Dental PC in Dunkirk, NY, for treatment and pain relief. They serve patients throughout Chautauqua County and specialize in fillings, cleaning, extractions, whitening, dentures, implants, and root canals. Learn more about the practice on their website, or call (716) 366-6822 to make a dentist appointment.