Bacteria are hungry little things, and they eat the sugary residue that’s left over on your teeth. They then excrete acids that will slowly eat away at your teeth – they’ll also find their way into plaque and tartar, making them hard to brush away. As you’ll soon learn, plaque and tartar contribute to cavities – which is why you should schedule a teeth cleaning in Edmonton.
The process of acids eating away at your teeth is known as dental decay. As dental decay progresses, it can leave holes in your teeth – we call those holes cavities. Bacteria will live in those cavities – the surrounding enamel provides them with even more protection. From there, they continue to eat sugar and excrete acid. Your cavities will grow bigger, until eventually, the bacteria make their way to the root of your teeth, cause infections, and can potentially lead to tooth loss.
To stop that decay, we need to clean out the affected area, then fill the hole so that bacteria, foodstuff, and other contaminants can’t enter the tooth. In other words, you’ll need a tooth filling.
That means the signs that you need a tooth filling are pretty much the same signs that you have a cavity. Let’s take a closer look:
The signs you have a cavity
Enamel doesn’t have any nerves in it, so when all of your enamel is intact, your teeth shouldn’t be sensitive. Dentin technically doesn’t have any nerves in it either, but it does have tubules that allow sensations to pass through it and to the nerves contained within the pulp of your teeth.
When you find that a tooth is suddenly sensitive to heat or cold, it’s a sign you may have a cavity that needs to be filled. The same can be said for sensitivity to acidic or sweet foods.
Toothaches are probably the most well-known sign that you have a cavity that needs to be filled. The difference between a toothache and tooth sensitivity is that toothaches aren’t triggered by anything in particular – they can bother you 24/7. If you have a persistent toothache, or a particularly painful one, visit your dentist right away.
Cavities can appear as white stains on your teeth – though you’ll probably only notice them if the cavities are on the front of your teeth. Cavities can appear pretty much anywhere on your teeth – yet another reason you should visit your dentist regularly.
These stains can darken as the tooth decay progresses.
Holes in your teeth
When cavities progress even further, you’ll be able to feel the holes in your teeth! Sometimes, these holes will be on the sides of your teeth – in those cases, you may find that food gets caught between the tooth that has a cavity and the adjacent tooth.
Other signs you may need a filling
The other major circumstance in which you’ll need a filling? When your old filling becomes damaged, or falls out!
Sometimes, you’ll see cosmetic work to fill craze lines or other cosmetic imperfections referred to as “filling” a tooth. While that’s not totally inaccurate, in this article, we’ve used the word, fillings, to refer to non-cosmetic fillings.
We hope you’ve found the information here useful – it’s always a good idea to visit your dentist regularly so that you get fillings when you need them. It’s best to avoid getting fillings if you can – and the only way to do that is to ensure that you don’t get cavities to begin with.
If you’ve got cavities that you need filled, or if you’re looking to get a teeth cleaning, give Kingsway Dental a call. We’ll take care of all of your oral health needs.