What Causes Cavities and How To Know When You Have Them

Cavities and Causes

A cavity is a damage of the structure of the tooth caused by acids that are created when plaque bacteria break down sugar in your mouth. A hole is created on the tooth surface which means there is a loss of minerals from the enamel layer. Left untreated, the plaque acids can also eat away at the next layer of the tooth which is the dentin. Nerves are now exposed and you can feel pain when eating or drinking.

Cavities and the decay they cause can be brought about by many factors. The most significant ones are sugary, sticky foods and beverages. The more sugar consumed, the more acid is produced, leading to decay. Sugar combines with plaque to weaken the enamel leaving you vulnerable to tooth decay.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Other factors to consider is poor oral hygiene which contributes to buildup of plaque. Plaque is caused when bacteria, acid, food particles, and saliva all combine in your mouth. Plaque contains acid that attacks the enamel of your teeth and cause cavities. To be neglectful of oral hygiene may mean one doesn’t brush and floss regularly and properly, and because one may not also keep regular dental visits and have professional cleaning done from time to time, oral hygiene also suffers.

Another cause of cavities is dry mouth. It’s a condition when you have very little saliva in your mouth. When the mouth is not sufficiently hydrated, it becomes an environment where bacteria thrives more and plaque builds up more quickly.

Medical problems can also contribute to cavity-formation. Conditions like reflux disease and bulimia increase the risk of cavities as teeth are repeatedly exposed to acid from frequent reflux or vomiting. Diabetes is a common chronic condition that increases the likelihood of gum infections that in turn make teeth susceptible to tooth decay. In addition, some types of cancer treatment that expose the head and neck to radiation can promote a tooth cavity by changing the makeup of the saliva to promote increased bacterial growth.

Cavity Symptoms

You can tell you may have a cavity if you notice some particular symptoms. As tooth decay progresses, cavity symptoms start to appear. The earlier symptoms are identified, the quicker and easier the cavity treatment will be. Do note the following symptoms for easy and prompt identification of a cavity.

Firstly, you feel pain; you may feel pressure, and certain sensitivity with pain and discomfort when biting down; another are pits – noticeable holes or in the affected tooth, yet sometimes only a dental x-ray can reveal it. Then, there’s pus, a sign of infection.


Dental Checkup in Bellingham

If you think you might have a cavity, make an appointment at Tetrick Family Dentistry so our team can assist with treatment. Contact our office in Bellingham if you have any questions.

When A Tooth Cavity Hurts Before and After Filling

Dental Fillings and Associated Pain

If you have pain in your teeth or in your gums, chances are you may have cavity symptoms. Pain is usually associated with the presence of a cavity, though not always so. The degree of pain may depend on the extent of your tooth decay, and the treatment required would also depend on how far gone is the decay. When you visit your dentist, a dental filling can be recommended as a treatment option.

Dental fillings can relieve cavity pain and they are commonly used. Firstly, your dentist will numb the area where there’s a cavity, clean out the decayed material, and apply the dental filling material sealing that affected area where the cavity had been. After you are done with the procedure, you thought your troubles are over. It can happen and it is not unusual that you experience pain after the fillings. Why is that so? There are some reasons why it happens.

Tooth Sensitivity after Fillings

One is tooth sensitivity. A tooth that has just had a filling will be more sensitive to hot foods and cold foods, air temperature, and the biting pressure. It should resolve within a few weeks. If not, contact your dentist. Another reason is cracked or loose tooth fillings. If the filling is not fitting properly to the tooth, or if it develops cracks. If you suspect that, contact your dentist. Another is an allergic reaction to tooth fillings. Some people have allergic reactions to the material used for their fillings, such as silver. Be sure you discuss known allergies with your dentist.

So what can you do? At least avoid hot and cold foods after you’ve had a tooth filling. Also, use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth; it can minimize sensitivity and tooth pain after filling.

You can reduce your risk of tooth pain after filling a cavity by avoiding common sensitive teeth triggers, including very hot or cold foods. In addition, toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can help minimize the possible sensitivity and tooth pain after filling a cavity.

You might also experience soreness after a cavity filling, in fact, sore teeth and gums are common after many dental procedures. Whether you suffer from short-term sore teeth after receiving a filling or long-term sensitive teeth, it is important to follow a complete oral care routine.

  • Resort to gentle brushing with a soft bristle toothbrush.
  • Floss softly and gently as well using a floss that is shred-resistant.
  • Use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth.


Dental Fillings in Bellingham

Do you have a cavity that’s causing you pain, discomfort or sensitivity? Come visit us for a consultation and treatment.

After Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

If you need to have a wisdom tooth extracted, Tetrick Family Dentistry can make the experience quick and convenient for you. After your extraction, though, you will need to take certain measures to maximize your comfort and minimize your recovery time.

Post-care and Tips for Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Here are some tips regarding what to expect and what to do in the days following the removal of your tooth:

  • Under normal circumstances, your recovery period shouldn’t last more than a few days.
  • During this time, you will probably want to take painkillers or apply an ice pack to the outside of your mouth to reduce your pain and swelling.
  • Avoid smoking products of any kind. Your sensitive gum tissues are easily aggravated by the smoke.
  • Consume softer foods, like soup and pudding. Reintroduce yourself to solid foods gradually as your condition improves.
  • As you sleep, prop your head up with pillows. Laying flat on your back can encourage bleeding.
  • Avoid using a straw. This can loosen your blood clot.
  • Relax. An increased heart rate can encourage bleeding.
  • After the first 24 hours, try rinsing your mouth a few times a day with salt water.
  • You can make an appropriate salt solution by mixing one teaspoon of salt with eight ounces of warm water.

Contact Tetrick Family Dentistry Bellingham

If you have any questions or concerns about getting your wisdom teeth extracted, please feel free to contact our Bellingham dentistry so we can explain the procedure process and answer your questions.