Is your kid complaining of a toothache and you’re just not sure what’s wrong?
It’s possible that tiny bacterium has secreted acid to make tiny holes in his teeth.
We promise it’s not as scary as it sounds. The tiny bacteria in question are commonly known as plaque, and the plaque has created cavities (aka tiny holes).
The sooner you detect these problems and get a cavity filling, the higher your chances of saving his teeth. Here are five symptoms to watch out for:
1. Bad Breath
One symptom of cavities is having bad breath.
Bacteria are the main cause of bad breath, even when you brush your teeth regularly.
A toothbrush is cannot remove plaque and bacteria completely.
If you do brush and rinse your teeth and mouth regularly but still have bad breath, visit your dentist. You may need a cavity filling.
A bad taste in the mouth can also indicate other problems, such as gingivitis or bacterial infection. Don’t think you can just wait out the problem until it goes away on its own!
2. Tooth Pain
Does chewing or biting down cause you or your kid tooth pain? This is another symptom of a cavity.
If left untreated, cavities may cause a throbbing pain that usually spikes when you eat.
This is your teeth telling you that there’s a problem that needs to be fixed.
The pain is caused by the plaque slowly eating away at your teeth, opening up a cavity deeper and deeper. If a cavity becomes deep enough, you may also experience tooth sensitivity.
In case you drink something very cold or hot and feel a sharp pain, call your dentist. Sugary foods may cause a similar painful reaction as well.
3. Dark Spots and Discoloration
This symptom is fairly straightforward.
Even if you may be a heavy coffee drinker and already have slightly stained teeth, you will still notice when you have dark spots or discoloration due to a cavity.
Dark spots and discoloration will usually appear as light brown or even black areas on your teeth. These problems may also indicate where the cavity is or which tooth is infected.
Holes are harder to spot, but they can be visible at times. When you see one, it means you have a cavity.
These symptoms are easiest to spot because they appear on the front of your teeth.
If you notice food getting stuck in your teeth often, and the food is difficult to get out even after using floss, then you likely have a hole.
Unfortunately, once a piece of your tooth is eaten away by plaque, it won’t grow back. The only way to fix this problem is to get a cavity filling to plug up that hole.
While pus is the most disgusting symptom, it’s also the most serious.
If you find pus coming from your teeth, you have a tooth abscess somewhere.
An abscess is a pocket of pus caused by bacteria, which is located somewhere around the infected tooth.
Cavities, which make for great homes for bacteria to live and thrive, can cause an abscess.
In this case, you should immediately schedule a dentist appointment. The chances are that your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to take care of the bacteria-causing pus.
No Symptoms Can Still Be a Symptom
Beware that even if you or your kid don’t have any of these symptoms, you might still have cavities creeping around.
Cavities that are new and small enough won’t cause any of the problems mentioned earlier. However, they will get bigger and cause those symptoms over time.
The best way to fix this issue is to go to your dentist and get what is called a cavity filling.
How Cavity Fillings Can Help
Teeth, which are made of enamel and dentin, are not living tissue. Therefore, they can’t form new tissue and fill in any holes on their own.
This is where a cavity filling comes into play. Fillings can be made of different materials depending on your needs. They are inserted into the cavity and shaped to feel comfortable in your mouth.
Once you have one, you don’t need to worry about plaque and other bacteria making the cavity worse.
However, it is possible to lose a filling. If you notice something hard while chewing and you have no idea where that hard bit came from, it could be your filling. When this happens, your dentist will recommend getting it replaced with a new one.
There are also ways to prevent cavities and stop them from getting worse.
Emphasize Preventative Care
If you don’t take action to get your cavities taken care of, you can lose those teeth entirely. Plus, you may experience other problems, such as infection and a higher risk of disease.
Brushing and flossing your teeth on a regular basis is the first step towards preventative care.
Visiting your dentist every six or so months helps catch any developing cavities before they get worse. Your doctor can also offer personalized advice regarding your teeth after a consultation.
One thing he may recommend is sealants, a coating that is applied to your teeth. It can prevent plaque and other bacteria from eating away at the enamel.
Fluoride, a mineral, can help with tooth health too. Investing in fluoride toothpaste or drinking tap water with fluoride can be an added benefit when preventing cavities.
Treatments designed to fight against bacteria may also be an option if you’re prone to bacterial buildup.
It’s Never Too Late to Restore Your Smile
It’s never too late to look into preventative care and get your smile back.
If you notice any of the symptoms listed about but still have questions, feel free to contact us. We are here to help!