One of the top priorities of your dentist in Springfield is to prevent dental problems from occurring in the first place. However, there’s one condition that affects more than 90% of adults over the age of 20 – cavities. Treating cavities is usually quick and easy, especially if they’re caught early. This is one reason why it’s so important to see your dentist every six months. In between appointments, it’s also important to be able to recognize the signs of a cavity so you can seek treatment sooner rather than later.
1. Hot & Cold Sensitivity
Cavities are a result of weakened tooth enamel, allowing the nerves and roots of a tooth to become exposed. This can cause increased sensitivity when eating or drinking something hot or cold. Someone who has a cavity may experience that sudden surge of pain that shoots through a tooth when the inner workings of the tooth come in contact with the temperature extremes.
2. Sweet Sensitivity
Similar to hot and cold tooth sensitivity, another common complaint of those with a cavity is sensitivity to sweets. Your tooth may hurt briefly after biting into a piece of candy or chocolate bar, then the pain will most likely subside. However, even if the pain goes away quickly, you should still consider seeing your dentist in Springfield if this remains consistent whenever eating sweets.
Some people have tiny white spots on their teeth that formed during childhood. These are typically nothing to worry about. However, if you notice a new white speckle, or even worse, a dark brown, gray, or black area on a tooth, it may be caused by decay. There are other potential explanations for tooth discoloration so it is important to get it checked out sooner rather than later.
A cavity is essentially an area of decay in the tooth. Decay shows itself as a pit or a small hole. In the early stages of cavity development, this pitting may not be noticeable with the naked eye. But your dentist in Springfield would be able to see this through dental x-rays or an exam. Now, if you do happen to see a hole in your tooth, you should schedule an appointment as soon as you can. This may be a sign of a large cavity that may require a dental crown restoration or it could be a symptom of an old filling falling out. Either way, it’s important to have it treated quickly.
The most common sign of a cavity is a persistent toothache. This pain can seem to come on suddenly or you may notice it after eating. The pain may also get worse when chewing or biting down. It’s important to remember that any pain in your mouth is usually a sign that something isn’t right, and you should get to your dentist for a checkup.
Knowing what to look out for is one of the best ways to make sure you catch and treat a cavity in the earliest stages. If you notice any of these signs of a cavity, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with your dentist in Springfield today.