Cavities can be problematic to identify but if left untreated, they can lead to dental problems that are more serious in nature. One of the most common symptoms that might be an indicator of a cavity is if you develop increased sensitivity to hot or cold food or drinks. However, a toothache may not always be present if you have a cavity. Often, a dentist will be able to identify if you have a smaller cavity during your regular dental exam, which can prevent it from progressing and causing pain. Cavities are usually a minor nuisance that do not require emergency dentist services. Below are a couple of ways to prevent cavities, and the common steps taken by dental professionals, should one develop in your mouth.
While bacteria within the mouth cannot be eliminated, limiting the amount of starches and sugars in your diet may help protect your teeth from a cavity developing. Drinks with high amounts of sugar are extremely harmful to teeth. Regularly brushing and flossing in-between teeth can also prevent cavities, as well as using a mouthwash that kills harmful bacteria in the mouth. It is best to use fluoride-based toothpaste when brushing, which can make the enamel more resistant to cavities.
What to Expect When Your Dentist Discovers a Cavity
Shallow cavities can be treated with fluoride or calcium, which could actually help to reverse the process. Many dentists can provide fluoride treatments and varnishes that can prevent a cavity from spreading. If the cavity has become too large, it must be restored with a filling made of composite or silver amalgam. This process is typically minor and inexpensive. If the majority of the tooth has decayed, however, the dentist will need to cover it with a crown.