Cavity treatment Greater Jacksonville FL dentist

Whenever something ends up going wrong with a tooth, it’s not uncommon for the first thought to be: “Can I somehow make this go away?”. Unfortunately, cavities are one of those issues that can’t be reversed with wishful thinking. If you have one that’s progressed beyond very early development, Dr. Marino, our Orange Park, FL, dentist urges you to not only come into the office, but to enhance your at-home oral hygiene routine.

Here’s how to tell if you’ve got a cavity and how you can slow down existing decay until you’re able to be seen by Dr. Marino.

The Main Symptoms & Stages of a Cavity

Depending on how far along your cavity is and where it is exactly, the symptoms could vary. For instance, a small cavity may not result in any symptoms whatsoever. One that has reached the inner portion of the tooth, however, will be more painful and may require a root canal or even tooth extraction.

Cavities may also manifest as:

  • Pain when biting down
  • A toothache or out-of-the-blue tooth pain
  • Sensitive teeth that react to hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and beverages
  • Pits or holes in your teeth that are clearly visible
  • Staining on any surface of tooth that is brown, black, or white

Did you know that there are 5 separate stages that tooth decay goes through that contribute to the development of a cavity? Each stage is characterized by changes in appearance and or sensations felt.

The following stages describe how tooth decay progresses:

  1. Demineralization: In this stage, tooth enamel is exposed to acids from bacteria that have interacted with sugars and starches.
  2. Enamel Decay: The enamel is continuing to break down and cavities can form.
  3. Dentin Decay: The decay has now reached the dentin layer of the tooth underneath the enamel. Once decay spreads to this soft tissue, pain can occur.
  4. Pulp Decay: This major stage of decay occurs when the cavity reaches the pulp. The pulp contains nerves and blood vessels in the tooth. Decay here can cause extreme inflammation.
  5. Dental Abscesses: When the bacteria inside the cavity spreads beneath the pulp and forms a pocket of pus, you have a dental abscess. Abscesses are often very painful, but some can go unnoticed.

Oral Exam Dentist Orange Park Florida

You Can Stop Decay From Getting Worse By:

1) Committing to Daily Brushing and Flossing 

In reality, you should already be practicing these two habits every single day. That’s at least twice a day for brushing your teeth and once daily for flossing. If you haven’t yet adopted a dependable oral hygiene routine, now’s the time if you want to prevent any more cavities.

Though brushing won’t reverse an active cavity, Dr. Marino recommends carefully cleaning the area to remove any leftover food bits. Also, make sure you’ve contacted our Orange Park, FL, dental office so we know you require treatment such as a tooth-colored filling or dental crown.

Also, don’t forget to schedule a teeth cleaning while you’re with us. Dr. Marino encourages all patients to have their teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months if possible. Not prioritizing care or avoiding it due to dental anxiety will only put you at an increased risk of stealthy cavities going unnoticed.

2) Always Choosing Fluoride

For early cavities, a fluoride application from Dr. Marino can slow (not stop) the progression of decay. Fluoride in general can also prevent cavities altogether by strengthening tooth enamel and reducing bacteria growth.

Try to choose a toothpaste or mouthwash that contains fluoride, so your teeth receive the help they need. Using oral health products with the mineral increases the rate of the remineralization process and slows the breakdown of enamel.

3) Cooling It on the Sugar

That soda or candy bar might sound appealing but it’s the last thing you need if you already have a cavity. Consuming something sugary will allow your cavity to expand and worsen. Foods or drinks of this type can also cause future cavities as well.

If you can’t resist temptation, rinse with water after eating or drinking. Follow that up with some dedicated brushing and flossing to slow the decay. Taking care of your teeth after meals have been consumed throughout the day is good practice anyway so why not make it a habit?

Make an Appointment

Our dentist serving Orange Park and Greater Jacksonville, FL, doesn’t recommend you ignore a cavity in the hopes it will disappear without intervention. In most instances, at least a filling is needed to restore the health of your tooth. Call Marino Family Dentistry today at (904) 269-2185 to request an appointment.

Get Started Today

Feel free to contact us today regarding any questions and to schedule an appointment with our dentist serving Greater Jacksonville, FL. We look forward to helping you with all your dental needs.