Pain is often the first symptom that alerts you to a cavity, and for many people, a toothache is the reason that they come into our office seeking treatment. To explain why a cavity causes pain, it is important to know what exactly a cavity is. With this information, you can take steps to ease any pain or discomfort and to prevent future cavities.
How a Cavity Forms
Your mouth is full of bacteria that can potentially harm your teeth. When you eat, the bacteria will feed on the sugars within the substance. Then, acid is produced, which can wear away at the enamel. If these acids aren't cleaned off quickly, a dental cavity may start to form.
In the early stages, you might not feel pain or even know that you have a cavity. This means that the cavity is still in the enamel only, as there aren't any nerves in this layer. However, if left untreated, the decay can progress into the dentin and soft tissues of the tooth, and this is where the nerves are housed.
You may begin to feel pain when eating, and it could be intense if the decay has reached the nerve roots. Additionally, you may notice sensitivity to especially cold or hot foods, and sweets could also be problematic.
If You Think You Have a Cavity
If you think that you have a cavity, the first thing that you should do is to call our office. If you are feeling pain, we can treat your cavity, possibly using an x-ray to determine just how far it has progressed into your tooth. The severity of the cavity will determine the treatment plan, and in many cases, a filling is necessary.
If you feel that you might have a cavity, please call our office today. Failure to do so will only allow the problem to worsen and the decay to progress.