The majority of the patients we have seen have experienced a cavity at least once in their lives. In fact, cavity fillings are one of the most common dental treatments we do here at Wellington Dental Clinic in Nanaimo. However, there are steps every patient can take to prevent cavities from forming.
The most important step to take to prevent cavities is to form good oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing and flossing at least twice a day and maintaining regular dental visits for exams and cleanings. Be sure to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride when brushing. Try to limit snacking in between meals and sipping on sugary beverages during the day. If you do snack, try to avoid sugary or sticky foods such as candy or dried fruit. Rinsing your mouth out with water after eating when you cannot brush or chewing sugar free gum can also help prevent decay from forming.
Despite a patient’s best efforts, cavities can sometimes form nonetheless. The signs and symptoms of cavities may differ depending on their extent and location. When a cavity is just starting, you may not have any symptoms. Your dentist will be able to spot decay in its early stages, and will be able to treat it before it gets worse.
If a cavity worsens, it may result in such signs and symptoms as :
- Tooth sensitivity
- Mild to sharpened pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold
- Visible holes or pits in your teeth
- Pain when you bite down
- Pus around a tooth, particularly when you press on your gums
If a cavity is left untreated long enough, a root canal may be necessary to remove the infected pulp from the tooth. This procedure is generally more costly and complicated than a regular filling. If you think you may have a cavity, or if you are overdue for a cleaning and exam, don’t wait any longer. Give us a call or come by our office to book an appointment.