Understanding Why Cavities May Hurt

Dentist Blog

If you have a cavity in one of your teeth, then you should see a dentist to have the cavity removed and to have the tooth treated with a filling. You likely understand that cavities are decay that form in your dental enamel. You probably also understand that cavities sometimes hurt. If you want to know why they hurt and what you should do if you feel cavity pain, then keep reading.

Why Do Cavities Hurt?

Cavities start off as small pits that form in the dental enamel. The pits form in the enamel alone and are caused by acids that enter the mouth and also by bacterial byproducts. You will typically not see the cavity if the pit has just started to form. However, the formation will start to appear brown or black as it deepens. 

As the cavity first develops, the pit or hole will form in the tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is about 2.5 millimeters thick at its widest point, and bacteria will degrade the dentin once the enamel is destroyed. While enamel is fairly solid and stable, the dentin beneath it is porous and soft. The pores of the dentin are quite sensitive as well and provide direct access to the dental nerve as well as the tooth pulp. This sensitivity is what causes your tooth to hurt once the cavity reaches the dentin. 

In some cases, a cavity will not hurt until the decay reaches the pulp chamber. You are likely to feel strong pain signals when this happens. This type of pain is likely to worsen and an infection may develop inside the tooth itself. Root canal treatment must then be completed.

What Do You Do When A Cavity Hurts?

If you notice a cavity in one of your teeth and feel pain, then you should seek out care from your dentist as soon as possible. This is especially true if the pain is minimal and feels like a mild to moderate ache. If you wait too long, then an infection will likely develop. However, if you make arrangements early, then the dentist can likely place a filling in your tooth. 

You still have the option of choosing a silver colored amalgam filling if you desire. However, most patients want tooth colored composite or resin based fillings. You should know that composite fillings are a bit more expensive than amalgam ones, but most insurance companies do cover the cost of cavity treatments whether you choose a composite or amalgam filling. 


25 April 2017

All About Full and Partial Dentures

My name is Cicely Davenport and if you need to get dentures, but you have questions about them, I invite you to read my blog to learn the answers. I too needed to get dentures but I wanted to find out everything I could about them before I committed. I read all about full dentures and partial dentures, and the difference between each of the two kinds. I went ahead and got a full set of dentures and I really like how they look and feel. I want to help others who are also thinking about dentures and you can learn a lot about them when you read my blog.