Have you been told that you have a cavity? In its early stages, a cavity may not even be causing you pain, and since you didn’t even realize it was there until your dentist told you, you may wonder why you should even bother doing something about it. However, although cavities start small, they can become painful and serious problems if left untreated.
What is a cavity?
Cavities are holes in teeth. They form when acids in the mouth wear down the tooth’s enamel, the outer layer of the tooth. Here are some other things you should know about cavities:
• Cavities can happen at any age. Cavities are more common in children, but anyone can get a cavity at any age.
• You may be at increased risk for cavities. If you are on a medication that causes dry mouth, if you have receding gums, if you have had radiation therapy to treat head and neck cancer, or if you have a family history of cavities, you are at an increased risk of getting cavities.
• You may not have pain until the cavity is deep into the tooth. As the cavity gets worse, you’ll start to have more symptoms. You may have tooth sensitivity and toothache, bleeding gums, facial swelling, and/or a bad taste in your mouth.
• There are different treatment options. The treatment for a cavity depends on how severe the tooth decay is. If the cavity is caught very early, a fluoride treatment may be enough to repair the tooth. If the cavity has had a chance to get deeper into the tooth, a filling may be required. If the tooth decay from a cavity is very serious, a root canal or even a tooth extraction may be necessary.
Of course, the best way to avoid cavities is to brush and floss thoroughly every day and to see your dentist for cleanings and checkups at least twice a year! But don’t wait for your next cleaning appointment if your tooth hurts – it may be a cavity or something even more serious. Call Dr. Samuel Jirik in Cabot, Arkansas, for an appointment. Call (501) 843-9561 today!