I Think I Have A Cavity – Now What?

I think I have a cavity now what - Fairview Dentist

Do you have a toothache? Are you feeling discomfort when you eat or drink something cold or hot? Or, did you visit your Fairview dentist and was told that you have your first cavity? No matter how you find out that you have cavities, cavities are some of the most common oral health concerns. Cavities affect people of all ages, so even if you avoided getting cavities as a child, you could still get a cavity as an adult.  

In the event you do experience a cavity, here are some of the causes of why you might get a dental cavity and how your general dentist near you can help treat it.

What is a cavity?

We all know about cavities, but what are they? Cavities are essentially holes caused by acid that can occur in baby teeth or permanent teeth (adult teeth). This acid is created through the bacteria that are found in your mouth. When the acid is left on your teeth, it attacks the outer surface of the tooth enamel and over time, the acid wears down the teeth, causing a cavity.

For older adults, they are at greater risk of developing tooth-root decay. As our gums recede, the roots of the teeth are at risk of exposure to plaque. Cavities should not be ignored as it will not go away on it’s own unless taken care of by a dentist. When the affected tooth is left untreated, cavities can cause more problems such as:

  • Over time the cavity will destroy the whole tooth and spread the infection to nearby teeth.
  • If the decay reaches the tooth root. it may cause your tooth to be severely damaged. Once a cavity has extended to the root, a root canal will most likely be needed to prevent further damage. If the cavity in your tooth is too large or you have several cavities, your whole tooth might need removal.
  • The infection may cause severe pain and may spread to other parts of your body and make you sick. 
  • May cause gum disease, gingivitis, and other oral issues. 


What are the symptoms of a cavity?

If you suspect that you have a cavity, you’re probably experiencing some of these symptoms.

  • Sensitivity / Sharp Pain – If you have any pain in your teeth or feel sensitive when you eat any foods, you most likely have a cavity. Even if you have little or no tooth pain, it’s still important to get them checked out.
  • White Spots – The presence of white spots on your teeth is a sign of tooth decay, leading to cavities. The best way to keep your teeth strong is by brushing them twice a day with fluoride and flossing regularly. Flossing prevents small particles from building up and harming your pearly whites in the long run.
  • Brown Spots – Light or brown spots on your teeth are a sign of tooth decay and cavities. They can also be referred to as dental caries. These spots are an advanced stage of the early stages of decay and are typically found on front teeth or tops of molars. If not treated in time, you will risk losing your tooth.
  • Dark spots on your X-Rays –
  • Regular X-ray appointments (roughly once a year) help your dentist get a better understanding of the health of your teeth. While X-rays have many uses for diagnosing and treating dental issues, one of the primary purposes of getting them regularly is to give your dentist an opportunity to check for cavities between your teeth and other problems below the surface. If a cavity is found, it shows up as a dark spot on the x-ray.

What Happens Next if I Need a Cavity Filling?

If you’ve never had a cavity filled before, the dental treatment to repair the tooth is straightforward and can be performed in one short visit. Your Fairview dentist will numb your tooth and the neighboring areas with a local anesthetic during your visit, so you don’t feel the procedure. Your dentist may suggest sedation dentistry for individuals who have dental anxiety, such as nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas.

Once numb, your dentist will isolate the tooth and keep it dry to reduce the risk of infection. Surgical tools will be used to remove any plaque in the area, along with any decayed material from the tooth. When the decay is no longer visible, your tooth will be prepped for filling. Once your dentist has prepped the tooth, the filling material (composite material) will be applied, and a curing light will be used so that the filling material will bond with your teeth. The dentist will then make sure your new filling isn’t affecting your alignment and bite. When everything looks good as new, the dentist will then polish the filling until it is smooth enough to match the surface of your other teeth.

What can you do to prevent Future cavity

There are many ways you can prevent future cavities from forming.  Here are some of the best ways to protect yourself against cavities and more serious tooth decay issues.

  • Regular visits to the dentist – See your dentist every 6 months for preventative dental care measures like routine cleanings, examinations, and professional dental cleanings to help you maintain a beautiful smile.
  • Regular brushing – Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Using toothpaste with fluoride. 
  • Practicing good oral hygiene habits – Flossing removes plaque, bacteria, and food particles that lead to decay. Flossing daily will also prevent bad breath and gum disease.
  • Keep hydrated – Many dentists recommend drinking water throughout the day to help rinse your teeth and boost saliva flow. Having a dry mouth may increase your risk of cavities.
  • Maintain a healthy diet – Sugary foods, sodas, and juices can cause cavities as the bacteria in the mouth feed off the sugar.
Tooth brush floss

Why You Should Have Sealant Applied

One way to protect your smile is with sealants. They are a thin layer of tooth-colored resin that goes over the smooth surface of your teeth that helps strengthen tooth enamel. Getting sealants applied is quick and easy and makes a big difference that can help prevent tooth decay for up to ten years with proper dental oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing.

Visit Sloan Creek Dental For Early Cavity Detection

Dental Care is important

Cavities are a common dental problem that affects adults and children alike. They start as small fillings, but they can cause tooth decay and other serious problems if left untreated. As soon as you notice tooth sensitivity, pain, discomfort or signs of cavities in your teeth, call your Fairview dentist as soon as possible to have it get checked out, and avoid invasive treatments.

Our goal at Sloan Creek Dental is to provide our patients with healthy teeth and picture-perfect smiles. Dr. Feng and the team at Sloan Creek Dental are your best resources for dental restorations with your comfort and care in mind. We combine modern techniques, comprehensive examination, precise diagnosis, and long-lasting results to deliver exactly what you need.

To learn more about your options for effective treatment of dental caries or dental fillings, contact us at our Fairview, TX office to schedule an appointment with us today – 972-468-1440

Our dental office is located in Fairview, Texas, and our patients visit us from across the surrounding areas, including Allen, Plano, McKinney, and Lucas.