Cavities, which are caused by tooth decay, require attention or they will turn into bigger problems down the line. You may not even know that you have a cavity until the decay has reached the dentin. This means that the decay has passed through the tooth enamel to attack the softer dentin below. Once it reaches the dentin, which is comprised of small nerve endings, you can feel sensitivity and pain.
Seeing your dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings allows cavities to be detected before they reach the sensitive dentin part of the affected tooth. With timely treatment, your tooth can be filled to prevent it from expanding or requiring more intensive intervention such as a root canal or tooth extraction.
If you experience any of the following, you may have a cavity in a tooth:
-Your tooth hurts! This can result in sharp or throbbing pain.
-When you chew you feel pain.
-Your tooth hurts when it touches something hot or cold, or you eat sweet, sour, or sticky foods.
-You have lost a filling.
-You have a chipped tooth or a fractured one.
-You notice a dark spot on a tooth.
To treat a cavity, your dentist will place a tooth filling to stop the decay from spreading. Any cracks or fractures will be repaired with a filling, including small holes. Fillings are typically made from strong amalgam, composite tooth-colored fillings, porcelain ceramic or gold.
To make sure your smile is cavity-free, please maintain your six-month checkups with one of our dentists, Drs. Don Niu, Alexander Yuen, Jason Wong, and Calvin Dang. At Irvine Dental Group located in Irvine, California, we look forward to helping you keep a healthy smile all year round. Please call us at 949-551-8877 today!