Your tooth hurts. What does that mean? Often, that means you may have a cavity. Without treatment, this common but serious oral health issue can lead to major complications, including an infected tooth that may require a root canal! Let’s look at how our patients in Urbandale, IA, can recognize tooth decay.
My Tooth Hurts!
If you have an ache, first take note of how long it lasts. Often changes in air pressure, such as plane rides or visiting locations at higher elevations, can cause brief aches. Temporary pain can also occur in the teeth due to allergy or sinus issues. These aches will be very short lived, passing after a few hours. If you continue to experience discomfort after 48 hours, then you may have a cavity that requires treatment.
I Feel Sensitivity When I Eat Cold or Hot Foods
A cavity forms when the enamel erodes due to poor oral hygiene or if the outer enamel becomes damaged. Once bacteria can reach the inner layers of dentin, a cavity forms that will spread quickly and lead to sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks. If you have persistent sensitivity when you eat a meal or consume a beverage, then you may need to talk to us about a diagnosis.
I Haven’t Visited the Dentist in Years
Over time, bacteria can break up the food caught on and between our teeth. As it consumes the particles, a layer of plaque forms on the teeth. If you undergo routine cleaning, then the dentist removes the buildup regularly. Otherwise, the buildup can weaken tooth enamel and eventually make the onset of decay more likely. Not to mention that plaque buildup also inflames gum tissue and makes the risk of gum disease much higher. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a long time, consider seeing us right away for a checkup and cleaning.
Do You Need Treatment for Cavities?
Dr. Lawson and our team can help you enjoy a healthy smile and avoid the onset of tooth decay. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling our sleep dentistry office in Urbandale, IA, at 515-278-4366.