How Do You Know if You Have a Cavity?

Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime and with proper care, they will. Unfortunately, your teeth are not immune to decay and even despite your best efforts, you may find a cavity forming. How do you know if you have a cavity and what can you do about it?

Symptoms of Cavities

Tooth decay(Cavities) is the softening of your tooth enamel and refers to the damage of the structure of the tooth caused by acids that are created when plaque bacteria break down sugar in your mouth. If this loss of mineral from the enamel is left untreated, a cavity, or hole in the tooth, can eventually occur. Without treatment, these holes can grow larger over time and may even destroy the whole tooth.  Cavities can cause pain and other symptoms that should prompt you to seek an appointment with your dentist. Some of the more common symptoms include:

Toothache

This is probably what most people will associate with a cavity. Sometimes the pain is comparatively mild, but for some people, it can be quite intense. A toothache is a good sign that you need to see your dentist as soon as possible.

Teeth Sensitivity

This differs from a toothache, which tends to be a constant or near-constant pain. Tooth sensitivity is triggered by things such as hot or cold foods. Even sugary foods can trigger pain. While sensitivity isn’t always an indicator of a cavity, sensitivity to hot food is less common than cold and is more likely to be present when a cavity forms.

Bleeding Gums

Although bleeding gums can occur from such things as overly aggressive brushing, if you experience frequent bleeding it may be a sign of a problem in your mouth, including tooth decay. It may also be an indicator of gum disease. In either case, a dental visit is warranted.

Bad Breath

While bad breath can and does occur even in healthy mouths, it can also be an indicator that something needs attention in your mouth. When bacteria eat through your tooth’s enamel and create a cavity, it may result in a bad odour. Brushing can help to reduce the smell, but your best bet is to treat it at the source.

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How Do I Get Rid of Cavities?

While some methods exist to reverse tooth decay—fluoride, for example, can repair small areas of decay—the best thing you can do for your teeth is avoid cavities in the first place. You already know about brushing twice per day and flossing regularly, but here are some other actions that you can take

  • Change Your Diet/ Reduce Sugar Intake
    Try to avoid sugary foods and drinks that cause excessive plaque and tartar buildup and consume more calcium-rich foods such as dairy, kale, and collards.
  • Eat Foods with Natural Probiotics
    These foods can stimulate the production of healthy bacteria that inhibit plaque buildup and tooth decay. Foods rich in probiotics include fermented foods like kimchee and sauerkraut, kefir, and kombucha.
  • Pay Attention to the pH Value of the Foods and Drinks You Consume
    Bacteria can thrive when there is an imbalance of pH levels. Coffee, for example, creates a pH imbalance, as do some citrus fruits and sugars.
  • Add Vitamins and Supplements to Your Diet
    Certain vitamins help to produce saliva, which in turn helps wash bacteria from your teeth, while other vitamins can strengthen your teeth. Vitamins B, D, magnesium, and iron can all be of benefit. If you don’t wish to take supplements, whole grain foods and seafood are excellent sources of vitamin D.
  • Visit your Dentist
    No matter how diligent you are about your daily oral hygiene routine, see a professional twice a year for routine cleanings and exams. Having your teeth professionally cleaned will remove plaque and tartar that you can’t remove with over-the-counter products and tools. Book your Appointment with us today is if you’re experiencing symptoms of tooth decay.

How Much Do Fillings Cost?

The cost of fillings can vary depending on the size and whether you choose a white filling or a silver one. In general, prices may reach $325 or more, making it a wise decision to do everything you can to protect your teeth through proper care and regular checkups. 

 

Taking care of tooth decay should be a top priority of your oral health. It’s important to have a healthy daily routine to minimize any possible signs of cavities. Seeing a dentist regularly will also keep your smile looking beautiful. For any questions about a possible cavity you may have or booking in to consult with a dentist, call us at (403) 263-0055. Kherani Dental is conveniently located at 339 Aspen Glen Landing SW Suite 228, Calgary. 

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