A cavity can form at any time, despite proper oral hygiene. You can do your part to prevent cavities, but sometimes, no matter what you do – it just isn’t enough. Not to worry though, with regular brushing and flossing, dental cavities are rarely all that painful. A small cavity here, or there, can be easily and relatively painlessly taken care of by a dentist in just one visit.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many visible signs that a cavity has formed, in the very early stages. There is usually no pain or discomfort, and even if you knew what you were looking for – you might not see a newly formed cavity if you were looking right at it. Over time, of course, the cavity will grow until it does begin to produce pain for the patient.
The speed, at which a cavity matures, is dependent upon a number of factors. The most influential of which, is dental hygiene. With regular brushing a cavity might take months to develop to the point that it produces pain, and requires attention. Without regular brushing, the pain would most likely come about much sooner.
Once a cavity has reached its maturity, it will no doubt be painful and annoying. The acid by-product of the bacteria in our mouths that dissolves the foods that stick to our teeth, has eroded the enamel, exposing the sensitive layer of dentin underneath. At this point, a dentist must intervene to drill out the decayed material, and fill in the hole with a synthetic material preventing further damage.
If you have any further questions about cavities, and how to prevent them, give our office a call. We’ll do our best to get you all the information you need.