Dental decay and cavities are more than just a cosmetic issue. Left untreated, cavities can damage tooth enamel and lead to a host of other problems including severe pain, infection, and even needing a tooth extraction. This is why addressing and fixing cavities as soon as possible is crucial. The type of treatment you receive will depend on the severity of the cavity, and your dentist will recommend a solution that is best for you and your smile.
The most common treatment for a small to moderate cavity is a filling. This is a procedure in which the decayed portion of the tooth is removed and a tooth colored filling is placed to restore both health and beauty to the affected tooth.
If the decay is more serious and has impacted the inner material of the tooth (pulp), you may require a root canal procedure. This is a more involved treatment in which the dentist will remove the infected pulp, clean and disinfect the area, then fill and seal the tooth. Oftentimes, after this treatment is complete you will need a new crown.
Tooth decay is most likely to form in your back teeth — specifically, in your molars and premolars. This is because these teeth have more grooves, pits and crannies that can collect food particles that are not easily washed away with saliva. Certain foods and drinks are also more likely to cause decay, such as sugary beverages and snacks, and sticky or starchy foods like candy and cookies.
How Do You Know if You Have a Cavity Under a Crown?
There are a number of ways to know that you have a cavity under a dental crown. Sensitivity to hot or cold, a noticeable hole or pit in the tooth, and a general feeling of discomfort are all signs that you have a problem.
Another sign of a problem is if you have a tooth that looks discolored or has an odd shape. This could be a result of a broken or cracked tooth, or a severe cavity that was not treated in time.
A definite sign of a problem is if you see a black or brown stain on any surface of the tooth. This is a sure sign that you need to visit your dentist for an exam and treatment.
The good news is that preventative treatments such as fluoride, sealants, vitamin D supplements and oil pulling can help you prevent cavities from forming under a crown or in the underlying natural tooth. In addition, a thorough oral hygiene regimen of brushing twice a day and flossing regularly will also help you maintain healthy teeth and minimize the likelihood of developing cavities. Schedule an appointment with your Torrance dentist team to learn more about how you can prevent or address tooth decay and cavities.