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Signs you need a Dental Filling

dental filling

Sciota, Pennsylvania

Usually, our mouths won’t hesitate much to let us know if we have the onset of tooth decay. That infamous jolt of pain through the tooth’s nerve can usually mean one of two things: 1. We have a sensitive tooth that will eventually pass, or 2. We have a cavity brewing.

A sensitive tooth and a cavity often present similar symptoms: a “zing” of pain through a tooth when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold.  You don’t want to waste any time determining which one you’re dealing with, and here’s why: A cavity can grow quickly. What one day could be addressed with a simple filling can grow in practically no time into an issue that requires a more invasive treatment like a dental crown or root canal. Dental decay can also quickly transition into gum disease, which is common (but entirely preventable) in American adults.

How can you tell if you may have a cavity that requires a dental filling? Our Sciota family dentist is answering that question today:

Tooth pain

A cavity can present itself as a toothache or a dull, deep pain when you’re biting down or clenching your teeth. As decay eats further into a tooth, it can cause aching or pain in the tooth. To understand how this works, it’s important to know how a cavity begins:

Improper or infrequent oral hygiene practices commonly lead to tooth decay. When sugar and acids on tooth surfaces and/or food particles between teeth aren’t brushed or flossed away, they feed natural bacteria that live in your mouth. This causes tartar, then plaque, build-up on the tooth’s surface and, eventually, under gum lines (which leads to gum disease).

Plaque eats away at tooth enamel, creating soft spots and pits. These areas can first appear as brown, black or even bright-white stains or spots on the tooth’s surface. If ignored, the spot will grow larger and deeper, eventually creating a painful hole in the tooth. If you see a dark spot on the surface of your tooth, schedule an appointment with our family dentist in Sciota as quickly as possible.

Tooth sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can be a temporary problem that corrects itself in time and/or with the use of toothpaste made with ingredients specifically for sensitive teeth. But sometimes a sensitive tooth could indicate the presence of tooth decay, which eats away at the protective surface of a tooth, allowing foods that are hot, cold, sweet, sticky, or acidic to penetrate beyond the surface and deeper inside the tooth. This stimulates the nerve inside your tooth, causing the pain or uncomfortable sensitivity you may feel when eating or drinking.

You lost a filling

Fillings can sometimes become loose or fall out after a while. Teeth that have compromised or missing fillings can be painful and susceptible to breaking. Decay can re-develop if the loose or missing filling isn’t repaired. Routine dental checkups twice a year can oftentimes prevent this from happening since our dentist will monitor your oral health, including the teeth and previous dental work.

Family dentist in Sciota, PA

Strong oral health is as simple as following a strong oral health regimen, including regularly brushing and flossing and visiting the dentist. But if you end up feeling tooth pain or sensitivity, or if you feel a filling that is loose or has fallen out, it’s time to call our Chestnuthill Dental office at (570) 865-7929, or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.

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