Cavities are a very common dental problem. They can happen to anyone, but they’re particularly common in children, teenagers, and older adults. Early detection is the key to preventing tooth decay. Early symptoms include temporary pain or sensitivity to hot or cold. You should schedule regular dental checkups to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.
In some cases, the most straightforward treatment is to get a filling. Your dentist will drill a hole in the tooth and then apply a filling to prevent future decay. Other options include root canal treatment and crowns. The latter two are more costly and invasive, but they will stop a cavity from growing.
To help you relieve any pain caused by the cavity, you should take an over-the-counter pain reliever. You can also brush your teeth with warm water. Using an ice pack can also be effective for temporary relief of pain. It is important to brush your teeth thoroughly, and you should avoid foods that trigger pain.
Regular dental visits are important for preventing cavities and treating them promptly. Routine cleanings and brushing are essential to maintain dental health and keep your smile looking and feeling its best. A dentist can detect cavities early and prescribe treatment for this cavity before it becomes too big to fix. A Mayo Clinic study shows that more than 80% of people over the age of 20 have at least one cavity at some point in their lives. It’s easy to prevent cavities if you keep up with your dental visits.
If your cavity is too large for a standard filling, your dentist may recommend a root canal. These procedures are often necessary for severe tooth decay, as large fillings can leave your tooth vulnerable to infection. In some cases, you’ll also need a crown, which will protect the remaining tooth structure.
Untreated cavities can cause the nerve or pulp of your tooth to die. Luckily, treatment for this cavity can save the tooth. During the procedure, your dentist will clean out the decay and dead pulp tissue inside the tooth, and then fill the root canal with a filling or sealant. However, it’s important to note that even a cavity that’s treated in childhood can recur.
Fluoride treatments can also restore tooth enamel and prevent the development of early cavities. Fluoride treatments are professional treatments that contain more fluoride than tap water and toothpaste. Your dentist may use a gel, foam, or varnish to apply fluoride to the affected tooth. It takes a few minutes and can work to strengthen tooth enamel.
When a tooth decay reaches the root, it can cause an abscess, which can be extremely painful. This infection can spread to other parts of the body and can even be fatal. Fortunately, most cavities can be treated successfully in their early stages. If they are left untreated, however, they can lead to large tooth loss and a painful abscess.