What are cavities?
Bacteria naturally accumulate in your mouth. Poor oral hygiene and snacking on sweet foods are two common factors that can lead to cavities and tooth decay. We also refer to cavities as caries — small holes that can develop in your teeth as a result of tooth decay.
Spotting & Treating Cavities Early
When a cavity is first beginning to form, there are no symptoms to indicate that anything is wrong with your tooth. So even when you aren't experiencing any symptoms, and your teeth feel great, cavities may be forming. This is why regular dental checkups and cleanings are essential for keeping your mouth healthy.
Dental cleanings and checkups every six months give your dentist and hygienist the opportunity to monitor your oral health, allowing them to diagnose and treat dental issues before you notice any painful symptoms. Left untreated, cavities will continue to grow and become more serious, until you begin to develop unpleasant symptoms.
If you have a cavity in one of your teeth you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Sharp pain when biting down on foods
- Sudden pain when you are eating or drinking anything sweet, hot, or cold
- Sharp tooth pain without any obvious cause
- Small holes visible in your tooth
- Staining on the surface of your tooth
- Tooth sensitivity
It's time to make an appointment to see your dentist if you have any of the symptoms listed above. Your dentist can diagnose and treat cavities before they cause more serious oral health problems.
The truth is that when it comes to your oral health prevention is always better than treatment! To keep your smile healthy, brush your teeth thoroughly twice daily, floss regularly and see your dentist at least once every six months for checkups and professional hygiene cleanings.