When you get a cavity, you’re in pain. Instead of waiting to schedule an appointment with your dental expert, call right away. Yonkers Dental Spa has Saturday and Sunday dentists for your convenience. Treating your cavity and getting you back to your routine is much simpler when you have access to a dentist on Saturday and Sunday.
A hole in a tooth, another way to say you have a cavity, can be caused by tooth decay, a lost dental filling, or even eating disorders. The bacteria in your mouth creates a thin film on your teeth called plaque. The bacteria in the plaque make acid a byproduct, which eats into the tooth enamel, eventually causing a hole or cavity to form. Eating disorders — or even heartburn — increase the amount of acid in your mouth and can accelerate the decay process.
Cavities usually occur in the pits and crevices on the top of your teeth, in the hard-to-reach areas between your teeth, and at the gum line. Cavities leave your tooth susceptible to infection. A tooth infection is painful and can lead to lost teeth, gum disease, or bone infections that can be life-threatening. For your health and continued beautiful smile, visit your family dentist.
Our best-rated dentists have years of experience helping patients from Yonkers and surrounding areas fix tiny to large holes. We offer a painless approach to cavity hole treatment. Visit our dentistry center whether you have a small hole in your tooth or even if you are unsure. We can help!
How Can a Dentist Tell If I Have a Cavity?
When you have a checkup, your local dentist or Dr. Farokhzadeh of Park Avenue Smiles will visually examine your teeth as sometimes a larger cavity can be seen by the naked eye.
They will also carefully probe your teeth for any signs of softness in your dental enamel that could indicate the beginnings of a lesion.
Regular dental x-rays help your dentist detect cavities in areas not visible to the naked eye, for example, in the contact areas between your teeth.
Tooth decay can often develop in these contact areas because they are more likely to harbor bacteria and fragments of food, especially if you don’t floss every day. When visiting your dentist, it’s well worth telling them about any signs of tooth sensitivity or any other symptoms you might have noticed that could indicate a cavity.
The sooner you get a cavity filled, the better, as it will prevent it from getting any more significant and potentially reaching the pulp of your tooth.
What Happens If I Don’t Get a Cavity Filled?
Tooth decay is a bacterial infection which is why it requires proper dental care to ensure all bacteria are removed from the tooth.
If you don’t get treatment for a cavity then it’s likely to get larger and larger, eventually reaching the central part of your tooth that contains the pulp. This is a collection of soft tissues that include nerves, connective tissues and blood vessels and it is used by the tooth when it is developing.
In a fully grown adult tooth, the pulp isn’t so important, but if it becomes infected, then it can be extremely painful.
You will likely have persistent or throbbing pain in your tooth by this stage. You may notice the gum around the tooth looks red and inflamed, and a pimple may develop on the gum tissue as the infection tries to escape through your tooth root.
Another common sign is having bad breath or a bad taste that you can’t get rid of. When tooth infection gets to this stage, you’ll likely need root canal treatment to save from tooth extraction.
While root canal treatment is an excellent procedure for saving a badly infected tooth, it’s preferable to get a cavity mended before things get to this stage, as treatment will be cheaper and less invasive for you.
When a tooth is root treated, it generally cannot be restored with just a filling but will need to be completely covered up with a dental crown.
Formation of Cavities Through Decay
Your mouth is usually full of bacteria, essential for breaking down the food you eat. But food particles, especially sugar residue, left on your teeth provide food for the bacteria. This creates an acidic environment that attacks teeth. As the acids in the plaque eat away the tooth enamel, several things happen:
- Tiny openings or holes form in your enamel.
- The plaque turns into a harder substance called tartar, which only your dentist can remove.
- The faster the decay and demineralization occur, the more acid and bacteria get into your teeth.
- White spots on your teeth may be an early sign of decay.
Tooth enamel continues to weaken and finally breaks down under the acid attack. A giant hole or cavity appears in the tooth, and the acid begins attacking the softer dentin layer of the inner tooth. As the hole becomes more prominent and more profound, the acid eventually breaks through to the sensitive tooth pulp, where your tooth’s nerves and blood supply reside. This is when cavities become painful.
Causes of Tooth Decay and Cavities
Your dentist urges you to brush at least twice a day and maintain twice-a-year visits to clean the plaque from your teeth professionally. Decay can occur if you don’t regularly clean your teeth.
Avoid specific activities that accelerate the decay process, including:
- Certain foods. Sugary or starchy foods that cling to the teeth promote decay.
- Frequent snacking. Remember to clean your teeth more often if you eat several small meals a day instead of three main meals.
- Sugary drinks. The sugar coats your teeth if you drink soda or sweet beverages all day long, which encourages bacterial activity. Drink water instead of sweet drinks, or have them with a meal if you must drink them.
Prevention Holds the Key
Finding ways to strengthen your teeth helps prevent cavities and tooth decay, such as:
- Healthy diet. Eating healthy foods and avoiding sugary treats and beverages reduces tooth-destroying acid.
- Fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps prevent cavities by speeding up the remineralization process and slowing down the destruction of enamel.
- Daily flossing. Removal of bacteria and plaque from between your teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach promotes healthy teeth and gums.
- Regular dental visits. Allowing your dentist to check the health of your teeth and gums regularly prevents minor problems from becoming large.
- New toothbrush. Changing your toothbrush when it looks worn — or about every three months — helps you remove more plaque.
- Your general dentist may suggest a sealant for noticeable grooves or hard-to-reach places in your mouth.
- Fluoride supplements. If your water doesn’t already have fluoride, adding a fluoride mouthwash to your routine compounds the benefits.
Treatment for Cavities
How to fix a hole in a tooth or how to fix a cavity?
Your dentist, open on Saturdays, finds cavities by probing for soft spots in your teeth or through X-rays. Depending on the location and size of the cavity, your dentist suggests options to remedy the holes in your teeth.
- Removing any decay with a dentist’s drill
- Filling or refilling the hole left behind
- Using fillings consisting of silver amalgam, gold, porcelain, or a composite resin — the most popular are tooth-colored materials.
If your family dentist has to remove a significant portion of your tooth, you may need a dental crown. Crowns are made of the same type of material as a filling, but they’re custom-made to fit your mouth. Your dentist cements it over your cleaned tooth to protect it from further damage.
If the pulp or root of your tooth is damaged beyond repair, you need a root canal. Your dentist removes the diseased pulp, nerves, and blood vessels, along with the decay, and then seals the root. You often need a crown to protect the rest of your tooth.
Do you have any questions about the hole in a tooth treatment options? For more information on how to fix a cavity or to schedule an appointment with the best-rated family dentist of Park Avenue Smiles, please contact our Yonkers dental clinic for consultation.