How to Tell if You Have a Cavity
Cavities are a common complaint at dental offices; according to the University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry, “one in four adults have cavities, and more than half of teenagers in the US have had cavities.”
It’s important to know the signs of a cavity and visit your dentist as soon as possible if symptoms begin. Untreated cavities can lead to more extensive and expensive dentistry. Early intervention can help you avoid the uncomfortable and expensive dental work needed to fix more advanced dental problems.
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What is a cavity?
The Cleveland Clinic defines a cavity as “a hole in a tooth that develops from tooth decay”…which “form when acids in the mouth wear down, or erode, a tooth’s hard outer layer (enamel).”
Decay left untreated will most certainly lead to more extensive and expensive treatment, with the possibility of tooth loss. It is always best to have early intervention and regular dental visits can facilitate this.
Signs of a cavity
The Mayo Clinic lists the following as symptoms of a cavity:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Sharp pain when eating or drinking
- Visible holes in your teeth
- Brown, black, or white staining on the tooth
- Pain when you bite down
Patients at our Ann Arbor dental office most commonly report sensitivity to temperatures (hot or cold) as well as sensitivity to sweets. These will occur prior to visible decay.
If you experience any of these signs you should schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately.
How to prevent getting a cavity
Practicing good preventative dental care habits can lower your risk of getting a cavity.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends practicing these simple steps to protect your oral health:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Clean between your teeth daily
- Eat a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks
- See your dentist regularly for prevention and treatment of oral disease
Preventative dental services include regular teeth cleanings and complete examinations. These services help prevent tooth decay and may decrease sensitivity. The ADA recommends regular dental visits to maintain optimal oral health, with the frequency “tailored by their dentists to accommodate for their current oral health status and health history.”
At DGY Dentistry, we respect that few of us have perfect habits, and are eager to help patients learn how to effectively clean their own teeth and maintain good oral health. Our Ann Arbor dentists employ an artistic and compassionate approach to maximize your outward appearance, inward health, and overall confidence. We pride ourselves in clearly communicating your procedures and choices with no-pressure consultations and transparent payment options.
Our office is conveniently located on E. Eisenhower Parkway in Ann Arbor, Michigan, providing easy access for patients in Washtenaw County and the surrounding Southeast Michigan area.