What does a cavity look like?

What does a cavity look like?

Cavities are caused by tooth decay and are small holes that develop in the teeth.

The best way to prevent cavities is to practice proper oral hygiene, but even with good habits and a healthy diet, tooth decay can occur over time. Unless you see your dentist for regular check-ups, you may not know that you have a cavity until it starts to cause uncomfortable symptoms. For this reason, it is best to see your dentist regularly so that any issues can be identified and treated as soon as possible. Read on to find out more about the possible signs of a cavity, and what you can do to resolve the problem…

What are the signs of a cavity?

In many cases, you may not know that you have a cavity. There are, however, a few possible warning signs. You may notice a white or dark spot on the affected tooth, or you may be able to see a small hole or crack in your tooth.

Another possible symptom of a cavity is toothache — you may feel pain when you bite or chew, or when you eat or drink something particularly hot, cold or sweet. You may also experience tooth sensitivity that worsens with exposure to extreme temperatures.

Other signs that you might have a cavity include swollen or bleeding gums, as well as persistent bad breath.

What does it look like?

Although it is not always possible to see a cavity yourself, you may notice the visible signs of gingivitis on your teeth and gum line. Gingivitis occurs when plaque is left to build up in the mouth and can cause inflammation of the gums. When the gums are inflamed, tooth decay and cavities often follow.

Visible signs of a cavity include small, white spots on the teeth — these often develop when the teeth begin to lose essential minerals in a process known as demineralisation. You may also notice discolouration or darkening of the affected tooth.

Can cavities be treated?

If your dentist identifies a cavity, they are likely to recommend that a filling be placed. The process of having a filling placed is fairly quick and simple. Your dentist will begin by taking an x-ray to see the location and extent of the tooth decay. They will then numb the site of treatment before removing the decay from the affected tooth. The tooth will then be thoroughly cleaned and filled with durable material.

How can you prevent cavities?

Although cavities are a common dental concern, the good news is that it is possible to prevent them from developing the right oral hygiene habits. It is important that you brush your teeth at least twice a day — this will ensure that you get rid of plaque and food debris that can cause tooth decay to occur. It is also advisable to floss your teeth daily.

To prevent cavities, try and limit your consumption of sweet and sticky foods. These foods speed up the growth of harmful bacteria and contribute to the development of plaque. It’s also a good idea to see your dentist for regular check-ups and cleans.

How can we help?

At Hyde Park Dental Care, we offer a number of general dentistry services, including routine check-ups and tooth-coloured fillings. We encourage our patients to come and see us every six months so that we can help to maintain optimal oral health.

If you need to have a filling placed, we can provide you with tooth-coloured fillings that are made with mercury-free materials, and which blend in seamlessly with your natural teeth.

If you would like to find out more about our general dentistry services, please have a look here.

If you would like to arrange a consultation with us, please give us a call on 02 9267 9526 or get in touch with us here.

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