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Feeling Pain? You Might Need a Filling

“Ouch.” If you are experiencing pain when you bite into a delectable cupcake, or notice a sense of sensitivity while you drink your morning cup of coffee, it could be because you have a cavity. Thankfully, you don’t have to live with the pain. A visit to your dentist could alleviate your discomfort, and get you back to enjoying your favorite foods and your life. Tooth-colored fillings have become one of the most popular ways to treat cavities, helping to correct smiles while protecting weakened teeth.

What’s a Cavity, Anyways?

Cavities occur when your outer layer of tooth has become so eroded by the acid in your mouth, that the layer underneath has become exposed. This layer is called the dentin, and it’s not nearly as strong as your enamel. Because it’s weaker, it can become extremely sensitive to hot and cold temperatures when it’s exposed. It can also be painful, particularly during eating or drinking. The good news is that cavities can usually be treated in a way that can save the damaged tooth, especially if you seek treatment quickly.

What Treatment Entails

First, the dentist will clean the area affected and smooth the surface. A filling will then be used to fill the hole created by the erosion, and also to protect the fragile tooth. The filling creates a seal that protects the tooth from further erosion or infection. Tooth-colored fillings rely on a composite resin material that is highly biocompatible, as well as nearly seamless with your natural smile. This gives many patients added confidence in their smiles.

Unfortunately, when a cavity is left untreated, it can worsen to the point of infection. Infections in teeth often require root canal treatment, which is much more invasive and extensive than treating a cavity. For this reason, it’s advisable to seek treatment as soon as you notice a problem. Regular professional cleanings are also a good opportunity for your dentist to check for cavities or other dental concerns. Preventive measures can help drastically improve your oral health, and ward off potential problems like future cavities.