Many people believe that if their teeth don’t hurt, they don’t have anything wrong with them. However, this is not always the case. Tooth decay (cavities) can occur without any symptoms, including pain. In fact, sometimes cavities can only be detected through a dental exam and with the help of digital imaging.
At Eastport Dental in Mesa, AZ, Dr. Huynh values early diagnosis and treatment of cavities before the decay spreads elsewhere or even causes a toothache. Let’s take a closer look at why it’s important to treat cavities early, how they are diagnosed, and the best treatment options available.
Not All Cavities Hurt
Contrary to popular belief, not all cavities cause pain or discomfort. In fact, many cavities are painless and can go undetected for months or even years. This is why regular dental checkups are so important. A dentist can detect cavities early and treat them before they cause any symptoms, such as painful abscesses. It’s fairly common to see cavities that are extremely large—requiring root canal therapy—that do not cause any pain whatsoever.
Symptoms of Tooth Decay
While not all cavities cause pain, there are fairly common symptoms that can indicate tooth decay, including:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Sensitivity to sweet foods or drinks
- Pain when biting or chewing on that tooth
- Visible holes or pits in the teeth
- Dark spots or discoloration on specific teeth
- Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- An area on your tooth that catches food or floss over and over
- A rough edge that you can feel with your tongue
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to schedule a dental exam as soon as possible. Ignoring tooth decay can lead to more serious problems, such as a nerve infection or tooth loss.
Why it’s Important to Treat Cavities Early
Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential to keeping our teeth healthy and strong. However, despite our best efforts, cavities can still occur.
Treating cavities early is important for several reasons. First, it can prevent the cavity from getting worse and potentially causing more serious dental problems affecting a larger portion of the tooth structure (or the nerve inside it.) Second, early treatment can prevent the need for more invasive and costly procedures in the future. Finally, treating cavities will also halt the spread of decay into adjacent tooth structures; that’s right, this bacterial infection can “jump” onto neighboring teeth if it goes untreated.
Diagnosing a Cavity
Cavities are caused by a buildup of plaque and acidic bacteria on the surface of the teeth, which can erode the enamel over time. If left untreated, cavities can cause significant damage to the tooth and may even lead to tooth loss. That’s why it’s essential to diagnose and treat cavities as early as possible. Dr. Huynh at Eastport Dental in Mesa, AZ, is an experienced dentist who can diagnose cavities and recommend the best treatment options. In many situations, cavities are not visible to the naked eye and can only be diagnosed using digital imaging or special instruments inside the narrow grooves of your teeth. Simply because we can’t see cavities doesn’t mean they aren’t there (but fortunately, you can see them with X-rays!)
Best Treatment for Cavities
If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity or pain, it may be a sign that you have a cavity. Fortunately, there are many effective treatments available to address cavities, including conservative dental fillings.
The best treatment for a cavity depends on the severity of the decay. In the early stages, a simple fluoride treatment or dental filling may be sufficient. However, if the cavity is more advanced, a root canal or crown may be necessary. That’s why it’s important to have regular dental checkups to catch any potential issues early on.
Dental Fillings in Mesa
Dental fillings are one of the most common and effective treatments for small cavities. During a filling procedure, Dr. Huynh will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill the area with durable material, such as composite resin, which matches the color of the tooth around it. The filling will restore the tooth’s structure and prevent further decay.
At Eastport Dental, we offer a variety of filling options to suit your individual needs and preferences. Our team will work with you to determine the best material for your filling based on factors such as the location of the cavity, the size of the filling, and your budget.
If you suspect that you have a cavity, don’t wait to seek treatment. Contact Eastport Dental in Mesa, AZ, to schedule an appointment with Dr. Huynh today!