what does a cavity look like | how to know if you have cavity ,The dreadful pain in the mouth. When people have tenderness or pain in their mouth, the first thing they think about is: do I have cavities? And that’s for good reason.
Tooth decay, or what most people call “cavities”, is one of the most common conditions in humans. To put it in perspective, dental cavities are “four times more common than asthma in adolescents aged 14 to 17” and that “tooth decay affects 9 out of 10 people over. 20 years”. That’s a lot of caries affected.
This article will help you answer your burning questions about cavities. We will discuss how to tell if you have tooth decay, the appearance of tooth decay, and even how you feel. We hope that after reading this article you will be even a little bit wiser in helping to better understand your mouth pain.
What is a cavity ? what does a cavity look like ?
Okay, so before we dive into the answer to the question of whether you have cavities, let’s get one thing straight. What is a cavity? A cavity, that’s how it sounds. It is a break or a hole in the surface of the tooth. It doesn’t sound so bad, but the problem is, it’s more than just a hole.
We will discuss it in detail. Be patient.
Everyone has a normal amount of bacteria in their mouth. In fact, when you think of the numbers, it’s pretty disgusting. There are between 1,000 and 100,000 bacteria cells per tooth at any given time. And do you know what is the worst? It’s normal.
The bacteria in our mouths are usually harmless, except for a small detail. They use the sugars we eat for their metabolism, especially fermentation . A by-product of their metabolism is acid. This is where the cavity problem comes in.
So here’s what’s going on. The bacteria cling to the teeth and continue with their normal metabolism which produces acid. Although tooth enamel is the hardest material in the human body, it exhibits major weakness. Acidic liquids.
The acid has the ability to soften the enamel, which creates an increasingly deep hole – the emphasis is on the gradual. The problem is, it digs a tunnel deeper into the tooth.
Once a decay begins, a person is unable to brush the bacteria out of the decay. This allows the cavity to go deeper and deeper into the tooth. Although decay begins without even being able to see it, if left on long enough, it can crumble an entire tooth.
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How to tell if you have cavities
Now we’ll get to the question you probably want to know, how to tell if you have cavities. I’ll keep it simple.
Let’s start with the most common symptoms of cavities, then move on to what cavities looks like later. The following symptoms are presented as a progression of whether you have early-stage decay or if you have decay that has not been treated for a long time.
Dark discoloration of the tooth
It’s no surprise that people want white teeth. While most people want white teeth for cosmetic reasons, I think there is a subliminal reason why we want white teeth. It is a sign of health. Cavities are easier to identify because they are not the same color as the rest of the teeth. The area of a cavity is often very dark or brown. The color indicates that the enamel is breaking down. Healthy enamel is clear and hard, and decay is dark and soft.
A tooth hole or fracture
Tooth decay starts with a slight discoloration, but as it develops, more teeth will be affected. The tooth becomes soft in the area of the decay and begins to come off. Parts of the tooth may be missing near a cavity that has progressed for more than two years.
Sensitivity to hot, cold or sweets on Tooth
Think of tooth enamel like a helmet. This is an outer covering that protects the pulp and the nerve that lie deeper in the tooth. As the Decay continues to progress deeper into the tooth, the dentin becomes exposed. The dentin site is more porous and can more easily shuttle between sensitivity and the nerve. When you have cavities, you may notice that a specific area of your mouth is sensitive when you drink hot or cold liquids or sugary foods.
Pain when biting
As we said, the outer surface of the tooth is like a helmet. When the protective layer is compromised, the sensitive inner layers of the tooth are less protected against the pressure of normal chewing. If you have cavities, you may have tenderness when you chew or bite in situations that otherwise would seem normal to you.
A bubble or swelling on the gum
How can the gums be involved in tooth decay? This is what we call a tooth abscess . Here is how it works.
As tooth decay progresses over a long period of time, it eventually tunnel into the tooth pulp. Once the bacteria reach the pulp, the tooth’s nerve and bloodstream are exposed to the bacteria, causing infection. A tooth infection is called a tooth abscess. Tooth abscess is the body’s way of removing pressure from the infection from the tooth. It usually forms at the end of the root of the tooth and causes swelling of the bone and gum tissue in that area, eventually creating a bubble under the gum tissue.
Decay creates an unclean surface in the tooth in which bacteria can live excessively. It can also create pus from a tooth abscess. Both of these conditions can result in a foul odor. Even if you try to brush your teeth or wash your mouth, you simply cannot effectively access the area that produces the odor once the decay has compromised that area.
What does a cavity look like
This section will be fairly straightforward, although a bit graphic for some. If you’ve ever wondered what a cavity looks like on a tooth or on an x-ray. This section is for you. I will show you photos to help you understand.
What does a small tooth groove cavity look like? We call these caries “occlusal”
What a large cavity looks like once it has progressed. The tooth may have started out as a small occlusal cavity, but it has progressed for several years.
What the cavity looks like in an X-ray or X-ray image. X-rays allow the dentist to see the cavities that form between the teeth, called “interproximal” cavities.
What does a cavity feel ?
Who am I kidding, you are already an expert. You already know the answer to this question. A cavity can give various sensations depending on its progression.
In the early stages of a cavity, you probably won’t notice anything. A small cavity will usually seem normal to you. But don’t be fooled by this.
When tooth decay is small, it usually has little effect on your daily life. But this is the most worrying point to stress. It is best to treat cavities before they reach a severe symptom point for two reasons:
You won’t lose so much tooth structure
While dental treatment is great for restoring teeth, it’s always best to keep your teeth’s natural structure as much as possible. As decay progresses, more dental restoration will be required. It’s not the end of the world, but later in life if that great restoration needs to be replaced, it could be the difference between replacing a simple small filling and more complex dental treatment.
Early tooth decay prevention is more predictable and cost-effective
This makes sense. If you take care of a cavity when it’s small, you will probably have an easier experience. If that same decay progresses a few months or years too late, the same problem may require a much more complex amount of dental work.
When a cavity progresses for more than 6 to 12 months, you start to experience symptoms
Keep an eye on your teeth. You may notice that a tooth looks different from the rest throughout your daily life. Common symptoms of moderately progressive cavities are sensitivity to temperature or tenderness to bite when chewing. These are usually the first signs.
If tooth decay persists for a long time, it can cause pain and even dental emergencies. At this time, the cavity feels pain, even if it is not provoked. Imagine you are lying in your bed at night and have a throbbing sensation. This is the sign of a deep cavity. At this point, the decay has progressed deep into the tooth to the nerve.
The war in your mouth
Lots of bacteria have accumulated in the mouth. Some are good, but some are not. Tooth decay comes from bacteria that feed on sugar. The by-product produced by bacteria from eating this sugar is acid.
One aspect of the war is harmful bacteria and sugar. When you eat sugary snacks, it helps bacteria win the war.
On the other side is saliva and fluoride. Saliva contains calcium and phosphate, which help strengthen tooth enamel. Toothpaste, water, and fluoride mouthwashes all contain fluoride, which can replace the minerals lost by the teeth during acid etching.
Mouth is engaged in this tug of war all day long. Sugary foods break down minerals in teeth, saliva and fluoride help rebuild teeth.
Consequences of ignoring a cavity
If you heard from your dentist that one or more cavities were present during your last check-up and you are considering postponing appropriate treatment, think again. Delaying treatment will only make matters worse and a single tooth decay can become a serious health risk. Here are some of the consequences that can arise when decay is ignored.
Progressive Tooth Decay: Cavities are basically areas of decay in a tooth, and they don’t simply heal or go away. If decay is ignored, the affected area expands and becomes deeper, making the tooth brittle and can compromise the integrity of neighboring teeth.
Sensitive nerves: As progressive tooth decay exposes the sensitive roots and nerves of the tooth more, it is likely that severe pain will develop over time as the nerves are exposed to air and food particles. This pain can be excruciating, and it is often indicative that a cavity is beyond the need for simple filling. In these cases, tooth extraction or root canal treatment may be necessary.
Dental infection: Once the dental pain sets in, it is possible that some kind of infection has developed in the tooth or jaw as well. Oral infections of any type are very serious and should be treated immediately before the infection spreads to other areas of the body. Most patients need antibiotic treatment before the dentist can treat the cavities. Failure to clean cavitation caused by decay leads to bad breath.
Bad breath: Believe it or not, untreated cavities cause bad breath, especially deep cavities that will turn into root canals or tooth extraction. No matter how often you brush your teeth, as long as you have decayed teeth, bad breath will never go away. Tooth decay starts with a slight discoloration, but as it develops, more teeth will be affected.
Development of the disease: Untreated cavities that lead to infections can have much more serious repercussions and long-term problems. A progressive infection can cause problems throughout the body and cause serious illness which, in rare cases, can lead to death. Although rare, do not take risks with the whole body on a small cavity. Do not delay treatment of cavities.
What to do if You Think You have a cavity
It’s simple. If you experience minor discomfort, give it a few days with over-the-counter pain medication and see if it improves. Do not worry. It may be just a passing sensitivity that sometimes manifests itself. However, if minor discomfort persists for more than a week or two, you should contact your dentist to have it evaluated. What if you have severe throbbing pain? Contact your dentist immediately. They can often prescribe an antibiotic to reduce the infection and will plan to treat the area in question to limit the duration of the discomfort.
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