Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard parts of your teeth that eventually turn into tiny holes or openings. It’s important that this tooth decay is treated as soon as it’s spotted to prevent more serious dental issues from occurring. But how do you know when you have a cavity? Does it hurt, or can you feel when you have one? Keep reading to discover the answers as well as the best ways to prevent getting a tooth cavity in Ft. Worth.
Do Cavities Hurt?
The signs of cavities can vary based on the severity and location of the decay. When a cavity is just beginning to form, you may not feel anything at all. But, as the decay grows, it may cause symptoms like:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Low to sharp pain when eating or drinking something that is sweet, cold, or hot
- Pain when you bite down
- Visible holes or pits in your teeth
- Staining on the surface of your teeth
How Are Cavities Treated?
Because you may not know when a cavity is forming, it’s important you see your dentist in Ft. Worth for regular checkups and cleanings, so they can catch decay while it’s still small. Once your dentist recognizes you have a cavity, they may recommend some of the following treatment:
- Fluoride: If your cavity is just beginning to form, a fluoride treatment can help restore your enamel and sometimes reverse a cavity in early stages.
- Fillings: Fillings are the most common treatment option when the decay has grown beyond the early stages. Your dentist can use various materials to fill in your cavity and prevent further decay and discomfort.
- Root canals: If decay reaches the inside of your tooth, you may need a root canal. This treatment repairs severely damaged or infected teeth to avoid removal.
Which treatment you need will depend on what kind of decay you have. Your dentist will be able to diagnose and provide the right restoration for you.
How Can I Prevent Cavities?
Check out some of the best ways to prevent cavities from occurring in the first place below:
- Brush with fluoridated toothpaste: Brush your teeth twice a day, or after each meal using fluoridated toothpaste to protect your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth: Your dentist may recommend adding mouthwash as a finishing touch to your brushing and flossing routine.
- Visit the dentist regularly: As mentioned above, dental visits are the best way of detecting signs that can lead to decay and cavities.
- Eat teeth-healthy foods: Avoid sodas and sugary snacks. Instead, try eating crunchy fruits and veggies that are good for you and increase saliva flow.
Preventing is always better than restoring, so practice good oral hygiene using the above tips to keep your pearly whites cavity-free.
Meet the Dentist
A native Texan, Dr. Kelly Blair enjoys providing quality care for her patients in Ft. Worth. She believes in patient education, which is why she wants you to know the signs of cavities and how to prevent them. She currently runs her own practice, and she can be contacted through her website or by phone at (817) 737-5155 for any questions.