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Don’t Let A Little Cavity Become A Big One

Don't Let A Little Cavity Become A Big One

Sometimes, individuals can be tempted to push off their visits to the dentist. Whether it is due to finances, dental-related anxiety, or simply a lack of time, it can be difficult to make your biannual dental cleanings.

While we understand that at our dental clinic when a patient comes in after a long time away, it is essential to get your dental issues like cavities addressed early on.

Small Cavities Can Become Big Problems

Cavities can start out so small that dentists won’t even fill them in, as it can damage an otherwise healthy tooth. Instead, our dentist will tell you if we want to watch a tooth, which means we will check up on the tooth during your next visit. Along with monitoring your tooth, our dentist will recommend brushing your teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride, as well as carefully flossing at night. Depending on other factors, mouthwash may also be recommended.

All this work is to prevent future serious dental issues. Most of the more invasive dental work—from needing root canals to tooth loss—starts as a small cavity. That’s because the tooth decay that allowed the cavity to form doesn’t simply go away. Instead, the harmful oral bacteria continues to wear away at the opening in your tooth until the small cavity evolves into a severe dental problem.

How To Tell If You Have A Cavity

Small cavities may not be easily visible, especially if they are located between two of your teeth or on the back of your teeth. That’s generally why it’s not a good idea to wait until you see a cavity before coming into our dental clinic. However, some cavities do show up as discolored spots, either a dark spot or abnormally pale. This spot can continue to discolor, changing to brown, yellow, or black as the cavity worsens.

There is also often pain associated with tooth decay. Cavities in their early stages aren’t usually painful, as they have barely penetrated the enamel. But as cavities reach deeper into the layer of dentin below the enamel, your tooth can become more sensitive to pressure, cold, and heat. If the cavity is allowed to progress to the dental pulp, you will definitely be able to tell you have a cavity, as it is generally painful and can lead to an extremely painful dental abscess.

What Dentists Do To Fix Cavities

What our dentist does to treat your cavities will depend on what stage it is caught at. Some of the options are:

  • In-office fluoride treatment – For small cavities that haven’t developed into directly treatable issues, having an in-office fluoride treatment can help remineralize your tooth and halt the tooth decay.
  • Fillings – With many cavities, cleaning out the decay and using non-metal fillings is the main treatment method our dentist will use.
  • Root canal and crown – If your cavity has penetrated into the dental pulp of your tooth, a root canal is needed to clean out the infection and sterilize the tooth. After the root canal, enough of the tooth material will have been stripped away, so a dental crown will need to be placed to protect your remaining tooth.
  • Tooth removal – Lastly, sometimes, the tooth is unable to be saved if the infection introduced by the cavity ends up killing the tooth’s blood supply. In this case, the removal of the dead tooth is needed. From there, our dentist can go over tooth replacement options, such as dental bridges and dental implants.

If you are having dental pain or are concerned about your oral health, it’s time to contact us and schedule an appointment with our dentist. We will do our best to find the source of the problem and get you cavity-free as soon as possible.

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