While preventive measures, like great dental hygiene and regular checkups can certainly help reduce the likelihood of developing cavities, the plain truth is most adults will experience at least one cavity in their lifetimes. For years a cavity diagnosis meant likely being fitted with a metallic dental filling, which could cause sensitivity while eating and drinking, not to mention the embarrassment that can come with a smile filled with metal. But modern dentistry provides a more esthetically-pleasing alternative, in tooth-colored fillings. These fillings can protect a smile without causing cosmetic concerns, and help protect teeth damaged by decay.
How to Know If You Have A Cavity
A cavity occurs when decay erodes the enamel of your teeth, exposing the more sensitive layer beneath it, called the dentin. When this happens there may be visible and/or sensory clues that you have developed a cavity, such as:
- Grey or black lines, especially along crevices of the teeth
- Overly white patches, which could be the dentin
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks
- Pain, especially if it seems isolated to a single tooth
Ways Your Dentist Can Help
If you’re diagnosed with a cavity, the good news is that restorative treatment is usually quite simple. Tooth-colored fillings are a quick and pretty way to protect a damaged tooth. In fact, the material used blends with and bonds so well with teeth, that it’s also used for some cosmetic procedures.
After preparing the tooth with a cavity, by cleaning and sanitizing the area, the dentist can then use the resin material to fill the hole created by the decay, which also provides a protective barrier from future foods and beverages. This also helps reduce your risk of developing an infection within the tooth, which is what causes the need for more invasive root canal treatment.
While you might not like the idea of learning that you have a cavity, addressing the issue quickly, by scheduling an appointment with your restorative dentist, is the best way to protect your smile!