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Cavities / Tooth Decay
Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, occurs when the protective layer of the tooth is eroded by bacteria. The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugary, starchy foods and drinks (fruit, candy, bread, sodas, juice and milk). The bacteria convert these carbohydrates into acids. The acids erode the protective layer of the tooth, known as enamel, causing pit like holes called cavities. This can cause various symptoms like acute or chronic pain, tooth sensitivity, etc.Upon examination, your dentist will also be able to tell you which of the three types of cavities you have — smooth surface, pit and fissure, or root.
- Plaque build up
- Diet with refined, sugary snacks
- Poor oral hygiene
- Tooth Senstivity
- Sponatenous pain
- Mild to sharp or dull aching pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold
- Swelling around your tooth and inside your mouth
- Pain upon biting down
- Pain when chewing
- Bleeding from your tooth or gums
- Sensitivity to hot, cold or sweet food
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I prevent cavities?
You can prevent most dental problems by maintaining good oral hygiene such as flossing and brushing with fluoride toothpaste, and having your teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months to a year, depending on your examination.
How to find immediate relief for tooth pain?
- Pain Killers: Over the counter pain medication can help reduce inflammation from cavities. However, consult with your doctor if you are taking high dosage.
- Saltwater Rinse It is an effective first-line treatment. As a natural disinfectant, saltwater helps to reduce inflammation on the tooth. Also, it loosens the food particles, or debris stuck between teeth or gums. Thus, warm salt water reduces cavity pain.
- Cold Compress The easiest method to relieve cavity pain. You can use a cold compressor inside or outside of the mouth area that has tooth decay.
- Clove Oil It has antiseptic and anesthetic properties so that it is helpful to reduce cavity pain. Soak a little cotton gauze into clove oil, and bite it to the affected area to reduce the pain.
Meanwhile, we recommend to consult with your dentist for proper examination and treatment.
When should I see a dentist?
Fix an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible to treat cavity pain appropriately. A dentist can examine the affected tooth, and suggest further treatment for the cavity. Get the appropriate treatment before the cavity leads to other serious dental problems or tooth loss.