Although nobody wants cavities, the fact is that at some point in their lives almost everyone will have one. Odds are you may have already had one or more. Cavities mean a trip to the dentist’s office for numbing, drills, and all sorts of poking and prodding—things most people want to avoid. But if you have a cavity, it is very important to see your dentist as soon as possible so that it doesn’t turn into something more serious—like a root canal. Usually a simple filling will do the trick. Here are some things to look out for if you think you have a cavity:
• Discolored area of tooth
It is important to mention first and foremost that just because you see a dark spot on a tooth does not mean you have a cavity. It could be stain from coffee, tea, tobacco, or just from not having a cleaning in a while. Most cavities appear as a black or dark brown spot on a tooth. Other times you may notice a brownish-orange looking area on a tooth, particularly a front tooth near the gum line. These types of spots may be areas of active decay.
• Sensitivity to hot and cold
Most of the time, teeth are more sensitive to cold than hot. Most people’s teeth have some degree of cold sensitivity. But if you are having pronounced cold or hot sensitivity and you are certain it is confined to just one tooth, that tooth may have a cavity. Sensitivity on all teeth does not mean all your teeth have cavities, it may just mean you have sensitive teeth. But if one tooth in particular seems to stick out, let your dentist take a look.
• Sensitivity to Sweets
Like thermal sensitivity, sensitivity to sweets is not a definite indicator of a cavity, unless it is on just one tooth and the pain is felt frequently. This sign is probably the least reliable in terms of indicating a definite cavity.
• Throbbing/swelling/sharp pain
If you are experiencing throbbing or sharp pain, or have noticeable swelling, you most likely have a problem more serious than a cavity. Any of these symptoms should prompt a visit to your dentist as soon as possible.
It is important to remember that only your dentist in Keller, TX can diagnose cavities and other dental problems. However, it can be helpful to have an idea of what your symptoms are telling you about your teeth. The best treatment for cavities is prevention—brushing and flossing every day. With a little effort you can keep yourself smiling and out of the dentist’s chair.