Even if you inspect your teeth every night before you go to bed and every morning before you head to work and they appear to be in great health, you could be missing the cavities hiding between your teeth. Cavities that develop in the crevices of two teeth is referred to as an interproximal cavity, and they can be difficult to see without an X-ray. Read below to learn the symptoms of a hidden cavity and what your dentist in Putnam may need to do in order to treat it.
What Are the Signs of a Hidden Cavity?
When a cavity lurks between teeth, it is very common for it to go unnoticed. You likely don’t even start to think about decay until it bores its way through your enamel and reaches your dentin. This layer of tissue lies directly below your enamel and is connected to your dental nerve through small tubules. When your enamel is gone, hot, cold, acidic or sugary foods can stimulate the dental nerve and cause pain. Here are 4 signs that you might have an interproximal cavity:
- Discoloration on the surface of the tooth (brown, black or white stains)
- Minor or severe toothaches
- Dental sensitivity
- Pain or discomfort while chewing
What Will Your Dentist Do?
Depending on the size and location of your cavity, decay may not be easy for your dentist see. You will likely need an X-ray so your dentist can see any and all dental issues you may have. Once the problem has been located, your dentist will determine the level of damage you have and recommend a treatment plan that may include one of the following:
Filling – If your hidden cavity has reached more than halfway into the enamel, a filling may be the best way to repair your tooth. Your dentist will remove any decay and use tooth-colored filling material to complete your treatment.
Root Canal Treatment – If your dentist finds inflammation or infection in the root of your tooth, you may need a root canal. During this treatment, your dentist will remove the infected dental pulp (soft tissue and nerves) from your tooth. Once that is done, the root and its canals will be cleaned, disinfected and filled with gutta percha. This is a rubber-like material that rebuilds the tooth’s structure and keeps bacteria and fluid from moving through the roots. The final step in the treatment will be the placement of a dental crown.
Crown – A dental crown is made from porcelain, ceramic, metal alloys or a combination of two components that protect weak or damaged teeth. These restorations are oftentimes the final step of a root canal. But if decay has damaged a tooth around a filling and the hole is too large, your dentist may use a crown to seal off the area and support for the tooth.
Even if you brush twice a day for the recommended two minutes, it isn’t enough to remove plaque and bacteria from the crevices and cracks in your teeth. Flossing at least once or twice a day and minimizing your consumption of sugary foods and drinks is the best way to help prevent interproximal cavities from forming.
About the Practice
Drs. Carolyn and Walter McGinn and their team of dentists are committed to providing each and every patient with personalized, comprehensive dental care. Since 1994, they have been helping the residents of Northeastern Connecticut’s Quiet Corner improve their dental health and achieve the bright, beautiful smiles they deserve. Their services include preventive dentistry, restorative dental treatments and more. If you believe you may have hidden cavities, visit the website or contact the office at (860) 928-6533 to schedule a visit today.