If ice cream sends a jolt of pain through your tooth, you could be experiencing tooth sensitivity. This excruciating symptom can point to a number of dental concerns, and you should contact your dentist for an appointment as soon as you can. Tooth pain is abnormal and should be treated promptly as an emergency.
Tooth sensitivity could point to a cavity. Some dental patients are unaware they have cavities, while others notice these painful symptoms. Dr. Keith Boenning, a dentist in Towson, MD, describes how cavities can develop into emergency dentistry concerns.
Treat Cavities Before They Require Emergency Dentistry
What Is a Cavity?
During a routine appointment, your dentist will check your teeth for cavities. This is because some patients do not experience symptoms and may not recognize they are there without professional evaluation. Cavities also signify the early stages of tooth decay and require prompt treatment before the problem worsens.
Bacteria in your mouth create a film of plaque over your teeth throughout the day that eats away at tooth enamel if it is not removed through brushing and flossing. When this enamel decays to the point where a hole exposes the rest of your tooth, this is called a cavity.
How Do You Treat a Cavity?
Your dentist treats a cavity with a filling. In this procedure, your dentist will first provide you with a local anesthetic to ensure patient comfort throughout the process. The dentist will then use a drill to remove decay from the enamel.
Once the tooth is cleared of decay, the dentist will place a filling in the space left behind to protect the now-exposed dentin of your tooth. A large cavity may require a dental crown for complete coverage and protection.
What Happens If You Ignore a Cavity?
If a cavity is not treated, the tooth will continue to decay. Exposed dentin will leave the tooth vulnerable to infections of the pulp, which can require root canal therapy.
Untreated tooth decay can ultimately lead to the tooth falling out or requiring extraction. Tooth loss is not only detrimental to the appearance of your smile. The absence of the tooth can cause further damage to your remaining teeth, so prompt treatment should be pursued per your dentist’s recommendation.
Emergency Dentistry Available in Towson, MD
Boenning & Dancykier Dental Implants & Cosmetic Dentistry offers both general and emergency appointments for patients in Towson, MD. Our practice also specializes in restorative, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 410.324.2294.