Thinking you might have a cavity is usually accompanied by a sinking feeling. Now, you’ll have to go to the dentist and have it fixed. And while this is never a pleasant experience, some people will do anything to avoid an office visit, even trying to make a cavity disappear.
The truth of the matter is cavities never heal themselves. And even if you start taking amazing care of your teeth to try and reverse the effects, this also doesn’t work. Once you have a cavity, your only option for fixing the problem is to visit your dentist.
At Downtown Dental Studio, we know getting a filling is no picnic. That’s why our providers — Fadi Beydoun, DMD, MS, Alexander Kimon, DMD, and Karina Zaygermakher, DMD — work hard to ensure you feel comfortable and safe during your procedure.
How to know you have a cavity
First, many people misunderstand cavities, thinking they’re an early sign that something is wrong with your teeth. Tooth decay is fairly significant by the time a cavity forms. This means you’ll need to fill your cavity as soon as possible.
But the question remains: how do you know you have a cavity? You’ll likely experience a combination of the symptoms below if you have already formed one.
- A hole in the tooth that wasn’t there before
- Spots or stains on the tooth in white, brown, or black
- Pain in the tooth or jaw, including when you’re eating, drinking, or brushing
- Sensitivity in the tooth, especially when you’re eating or drinking something hot or cold
If you notice any of these signs and they don’t go away in a few hours, you’re likely dealing with a cavity.
Why people avoid getting help for cavities
Despite being preventable, cavities are incredibly common. The CDC states one in four people between 20 and 64 have at least one cavity. Because of the commonality of this problem, it’s often thought of as less serious than it is.
In addition, going to the dentist can feel inconvenient, uncomfortable, or, for some, even terrifying. Many people hope they can deal with their cavities at home. Unfortunately, this leads to untreated cavities, which will often make things a lot worse.
Why you can’t treat your cavities at home
Your mouth is designed to protect your teeth, which is wonderful. Your saliva — when combined with the fluoride in toothpaste — can help reverse the effects of tooth decay. But once a cavity forms, you won’t be able to reverse these effects at home.
Instead, you’ll need to fill the hole in your tooth, which only a dentist can do. If the cavity worsens, another treatment, such as a crown, a root canal, or a tooth extraction, might even be necessary. And this is the biggest reason not to avoid seeing your dentist for a cavity.
If you avoid going to the dentist for a cavity, you could open yourself up to worse problems. Even if you take excellent care of your teeth from here on out, the cavity will leave you vulnerable to an abscess forming, tooth loss, and other serious problems. And no amount of brushing, flossing, or mouthwash will close up the hole in your tooth.
Get a filling for your cavity today
If you have a cavity, you shouldn’t wait to get it filled, nor should you hope for the best and try to treat it at home. This just isn’t possible. Instead, visit us at our New York City, NY office in the Financial District. Call 212-964-3337 to make an appointment.