A cavity in the tooth is an area that has been permanently damaged, causing an opening or a hole. Cavities can be caused by a number of reasons. These include drinking an abundance of sugary drinks, frequently snacking on sweets, high levels of bacteria in the mouth, and improper or inefficient oral hygiene. While a cavity can begin as a tiny opening, it can develop into a larger, more serious problem.
Symptoms of a Cavity
Staining or Discoloration
Sometimes a cavity can be seen by the naked eye. They will present themselves as a black, brown, or dark spot on the tooth that can not be removed.
A hole in the hard surface of the tooth can cause sensitivity when eating and drinking. This is especially true for very hot or very cold foods and drinks.
Toothache and Pain
Tooth decay can cause a toothache and severe pain. A cavity can lead to constant throbbing and aching as well as pain when biting down or brushing your teeth.
Complications of a Cavity
When left untreated, cavities can cause serious problems. As they grow and develop, they begin to wreak havoc on the gums, mouth, and even surrounding teeth. These complications include:
Foul Odor/Bad Breath
A cavity is an area of tooth decay and this decay can produce a very foul odor. This odor leads to constant bad breath thus making it difficult to socialize or converse in a normal way.
Bad Taste In Mouth
While decay emits a foul odor, it also creates a bad taste in your mouth. This pungent taste can become extremely bothersome.
As the hole in the surface becomes larger, so does the access to the nerves and root of the tooth. This causes severe pain, especially when biting, chewing, drinking, and eating things of various temperatures or textures.
Chewing or Eating Problems/Weight Loss
This type of oral ailment may greatly affect the way you chew your food. Improper chewing leads to a number of stomach problems as the pieces of food may not be broken down enough to be properly digested. When chewing becomes painful, you may not eat as much or as often. This will result in undesired weight loss.
Broken or Permanently Damaged Teeth
Left untreated, a cavity can get exponentially larger and go deeper. This growth leads to destruction of the tooth. It may crack or break apart.
Extraction (Tooth Removal)
Decay that has done irreversible damage may result in the need for the tooth to be pulled or permanently removed. When a tooth is removed prematurely, it creates an opening in which the surrounding teeth may shift and try to fill. Such movement can lead to misalignment and crooked teeth.
One of the most severe complications resulting from a cavity is a tooth abscess. This is when a pocket of infection develops in the tooth or surrounding gum. An abscess can cause severe, radiating pain. It can also release infection into the body, which is extremely dangerous. Treatment includes antibiotics and possibly invasive procedures.
While every cavity may not be easily prevented, many can be avoided by the proper awareness and oral care. Flossing, thorough brushing, mouthwash, and regular checkups with a dental professional can help avoid tooth decay.
Experience Expert Dental Care at the Dental Group of Simi Valley
The husband and wife team leading the Dental Group of Simi Valley are committed to offering gentle, thorough, and professional dental care to each and every one of our patients. Regularly scheduled checkups and cleanings are a great way to prevent tooth decay or cavities.
Dr. Herschel Berger and Dr. Laura Jen Kin pride themselves on their ability to operate an excellent dental practice that is family-owned, not a corporate cut-out office. Residents of Simi Valley, CA can rest assured that as a patient, you will become a member of our extended family and we will provide oral health care for a lifetime.
We offer extensive and comprehensive dental services, including complete preventative care. Our team works hard to educate, identify, and treat any oral issues as soon as possible. If you are nervous about dental work, we will provide services in the most gentle and comfortable manner. Your visit will be a pleasant one. Call us today and begin your journey to a beautiful, healthy, and confident smile.