Why is Early Cavity Detection Important?
Early cavity detection is the best way to protect your smile and reduce the cost of oral health care. For example, early cavity detection can mean minor damage, less physical discomfort & less aggravation down the road. In addition, a cavity can form on the tooth without causing any pain in some cases. So scheduling regular dental appointments and early detection & treatment are essential tools for maintaining your beautiful smile!
Why are regular dental checkups necessary?
As part of your goal to detect cavities early, a dental checkup is a perfect plan. Also, because brushing and flossing aren’t enough to prevent tooth decay for many people, a dental checkup is a great idea. Yes, brushing and flossing remove food debris from your mouth and avoid plaque buildup. But, regular dental checkups and cleanings remove the stubborn plaque and tartar that at-home oral care overlooks.
Early Cavity Detection Gives You More Options
Since recent studies estimate that almost 95% of adults will get a cavity at some point in their lives, it’s essential to treat it when it’s small. When the cavity is small, more simple and minimally invasive treatment options are available. For example, fluoride treatments can stop tooth decay in its early stages. If you wait too long to treat a cavity and once tooth decay advances to the root, you risk losing the tooth or developing a painful abscess.
The benefits of treating a cavity early
Early cavity treatments mean less expensive dental work and minor discomfort and allow you to smile confidently. However, since a cavity is considered permanent damage due to mineral and enamel loss, there’s no way to reverse or fix cavities on your own. Instead, you will need a dentist to give you a filling. Remember, an untreated cavity poses a continuous threat to your oral health, and treating a cavity early is the most promising way to mitigate that threat.
How early can a cavity be detected?
According to the American Dental Association, a cavity can take a few months to a few years to fully develop. In the early stages, cavity symptoms are not noticeable to the untrained eye. In most cases, the tooth decay is not apparent until the area of tooth decay gets larger.
What is an early-stage cavity?
In the early stages of a cavity or tooth decay, areas of enamel are worn away, and the bacteria and acid have reached the dentin layer of your teeth. There is mild or no pain in the early stage of a cavity, which makes tooth decay challenging to catch. However, if neglected, a toothache can develop. This toothache tends to be constant, whether you’re eating, talking, or doing nothing.
How do you treat an early cavity?
A fluoride treatment may help restore your tooth’s enamel if your cavity has just formed. Sometimes fluoride treatments can reverse an early stage. Professional dental fluoride treatments contain more fluoride than the amount found in tap water, toothpaste, and mouth rinses.
How can cavities be prevented?
- Eat tooth-healthy foods
- Rinse your mouth after you eat
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste after eating or drinking
- Visit your dentist regularly
- Consider dental sealants
- Drink some fluoridated tap water
- Avoid frequent snacking and sipping
- Consider fluoride treatments
Do early cavities need to be filled?
With good at-home oral hygiene and regular dental visits, a minor cavity will not require a dental filling. Since tooth decay is a slowly-progressing problem, catching cavities in their early stages can save you from needing a filling. If you notice a cavity, don’t wait too long to have that cavity filled. Schedule a dental appointment today!
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