How to Properly Address a Suspected Cavity

Posted on: 24 August 2023

Cavities, or tooth decay, are one of the most common health problems worldwide. Bacteria in your mouth create acids that corrode tooth enamel, which leads lea to the development of cavities. If you suspect you have a cavity, it's vital to take immediate action to prevent further damage. Here's a guide on how to properly address a suspected cavity.

Identifying a Suspected Cavity

The first step in addressing a suspected cavity is recognizing the signs. The symptoms may differ based on the severity and position of the decay. You might not experience any symptoms in the early stages of a cavity, but as the decay gets larger, it may cause:

  • Toothache or spontaneous tooth pain
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Experience mild to intense discomfort when consuming sweet, hot, or cold food and beverages.
  • Noticeable cavities or depressions in your teeth.
  • Discoloration in brown, black, or white on any tooth surface
  • Discomfort when chewing down

If you notice any of these symptoms, it's a good idea to consult with a dental professional as soon as possible.

Scheduling a Dental Appointment

If you suspect you have a cavity, make an appointment with your dentist right away. Identifying a cavity early makes it easier to treat.

At the appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth and may take X-rays to assess the decay's extent. Remember, not all cavities are visible to the naked eye, especially those between teeth, which is why regular dental check-ups are so important.

Treatment Options

The approach to treating a cavity is determined by the degree of decay present. If detected early, your dentist may recommend non-invasive treatments like fluoride treatments, which can help restore your tooth's enamel and reverse a cavity in the very early stages.

For established cavities, however, a filling is typically required. The decayed material will be removed from your tooth by the dentist, followed by cleaning the affected area and filling the cavity with dental filling material. This filling will seal off the space and prevent bacteria from entering, protecting your tooth from further decay.

In more severe cases where decay has reached the nerve, procedures such as a root canal or a crown may be necessary. In the most extreme cases, the tooth may need to be removed altogether.

Cavities, if left untreated, can lead to serious oral health problems, including abscesses or even tooth loss. Therefore, it's crucial to address a suspected cavity immediately.

For more info, contact a local dentist