According to the CDC, 90% of American adults aged 20 and older have had one cavity.
Despite your best intentions, you will likely experience a cavity at some point during your life. However, left untreated, cavities will only continue to grow and cause further decay to your tooth.
Caught early, cavity treatment can stop and even cure tooth decay. That’s why it’s important to know what signs of cavities to look for.
Find out the common signs you have a cavity and how Southeast Family Dental can help.
1. Hot and Cold Sensitivity
A common sign that you may have cavity damage is a sensitivity to extreme temperatures. You may notice pain when you drink a glass of ice water or a cup of hot coffee.
When the tooth’s outer protective layer is worn down, it exposes the dentin layer. As hot or cold food hits the dentin, it stimulates nerves in your teeth. This creates a feeling of discomfort and sensitivity, otherwise known as “dentin hypersensitivity.”
During the initial stages, the pain may be mild. However, the pain will become difficult to ignore as the cavity worsens.
Pain is one of the most common signs that you have a cavity. Sometimes this pain can come on as a result of something you eat or without any apparent cause. The ache can range from dull to debilitating, depending on the progression of your cavity.
You may experience this ache in one or more teeth, and it may even radiate around your whole mouth. The decay could reach your tooth’s nerve and require extensive treatment, possibly a root canal if left untreated.
As soon as you experience constant throbbing pain, book an appointment with your dentist.
While discoloration can result from several factors, it can also signify a cavity. If you notice white or dark spots on your tooth, this could indicate a cavity. You should also watch for spots that grow in size.
By the time you visibly notice discoloration, your cavity may have progressed to where treatment is necessary.
While it could be a natural stain (especially if you’re a heavy coffee drinker), it’s always best to get a dentist to check it out. This is especially true if you’re also experiencing tooth pain.
4. Chewing Is Painful
Do you notice pain when you chew on food? You likely have a cavity. While you may have a general toothache, the pain can worsen when you chew or bite down.
This is a common sign of cavities at the back of your mouth. The pain can range from mild discomfort to excruciating and change how you eat food.
Don’t ignore this painful sign. Book an appointment with your dentist.
5. Unpleasant Breath
Bad breath is a common and unpleasant sign that you may have a cavity. If you practice good oral hygiene and routinely use mouth wash yet are still experiencing bad breath, it’s time to visit your dentist.
While there are many causes of bad breath, it is typically due to undiagnosed tooth decay. Cavities are decayed areas in the teeth resulting from a process that breaks your tooth’s enamel brought on by bacteria inside your mouth.
Cavities and bacteria can cause bad breath. The longer bacteria have contact with your teeth; the stinkier your breath will be. Once discovered by your dentist, the cavity can be treated, and your breath will improve.
6. A Hole in Your Tooth
When cavities permanently damage areas on the enamel, they create small holes in the tooth. A hole in your tooth is often a sign that your cavity has progressed.
As the decay on your tooth worsens, it eventually breaks down and turns into a hole. Depending on the size of the hole, you may notice it in the mirror or feel it with your tongue.
At this point, it’s a sure sign that you have a cavity. A dentist will need to fill in this cavity as soon as possible.
7. Bleeding, Swollen Gums
Bleeding and swollen gums can be a sign that you have a cavity. An abscessed tooth usually occurs due to an untreated cavity that has allowed bacteria to infect your tooth.
The bacterial buildup on the teeth irritates surrounding gum tissue and can cause the gums to become painful and inflamed. If you notice bleeding gums when you brush or floss, schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Bleeding gums are also a sign of gingivitis or gum disease. In any case, a dentist can investigate and provide you with the right course of treatment.
You know that your cavity has gone too far when you notice pus. At this point, your cavity has become an abscess and is considered a dental emergency.
An abscess can lead to infection and spread around the mouth, resulting in possible life-threatening consequences. Abscesses are painful and may cause fevers and swollen glands.
Contact your local dentist right away. In most cases, they will be able to see you on the same day.
9. No Signs
Cavities in their early stages don’t always show signs. Unfortunately, this makes it trickier to notice straight away.
That’s why it’s important to keep up with your visits to the dentist. With regular dental visits, your dentist can identify underlying oral issues before they start.
You should visit the dentist at least every six months or as recommended by your local dental expert. This is the best way to prevent cavities or treat them before they become a major problem.
Signs You Have a Cavity? We Can Help!
While no one likes to hear they have a cavity, it’s always better to visit your dentist to have your cavities treated sooner rather than later.
Getting rid of a cavity is one of the most important ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Worried there are signs you have a cavity? Southeast Family Dental is here to help. Our professional and highly-skilled dentists know how to get rid of a cavity and restore your smile! We also offer regular dental care and preventative treatment alongside our restorative care services.
Request an appointment today.
Dr. Holly Austgen, DDS of Southeast Family Dental in Indianapolis, Indiana reveals what that weird blue light is that your dentist uses, how it works and if there are any risks to your teeth and gums when using it. https://youtu.be/gddhQso_frs [https://youtu.be/gddhQso_frs] If you can not see the embedded video above please use the following link: What is that weird blue light my dentist uses? [https://youtu.be/gddhQso_frs] Transcript Hi everyone. My name is Dr. Austgen from Southeast Family Dental and today I’m going to talk to you about a question we often get here at the office, and that is, what is the blue light that we use and is it dangerous? So what is it? That blue light is a dental curing light. It’s basically a piece of dental equipment that we use to harden or cure our resin or basically, tooth-colored filling materials, as well as some other materials that we use such as cements and bonding agents that we use to restore your teeth back to health. So how does this light work? When fillings are placed in the teeth, they are very soft so that they can be molded to the correct shape and anatomy. When the dentist or the assistant who is placing the filling is happy with the shape and the contour, they will then set the material to make it hard. That’s where the blue light comes in. We press the light, the blue light shines on it, and it will make the material hard as rock, strong enough for you to be able to chew on as soon as you leave. Okay, so here’s the big question. What about the blue light? Everyone wants to know what it is. So I’ll tell you what it’s not. It is not a UV light and it is not a laser. What it is, is a very strong blue light and it’s blue because it falls into the range of the wavelengths under the blue light spectrum. So like I said, it’s not a laser and it’s not a UV light. So it’s not going to cause any damage to your teeth or your gums. The only danger is if you look at the light for too long. It’s kind of similar to looking at the sun for too long. Dentists and assistants who place fillings are the most at risk. That’s why there is an orange filter on the light to protect our eyes. So no need to be concerned about the blue light or the curing light. It’s been a significant advancement in dentistry for us and allows us to place fillings that are hard, exactly the way we want them to be so you’re ready to use your tooth just like you wanted when you leave. Thanks for listening and remember, at Southeast Family Dental, we love to make you smile.
Do you suffer from fears and anxiety when going to the dentist? Or, maybe a trip to the dentist is a scary event for your child, which also stresses you out? Dental fears, anxiety and phobia are extremely common. It’s estimated that between 5% and 8% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to fears. Some people (perhaps up to 20%) experience so much anxiety that they’ll only go to the dentist when it’s absolutely necessary. People experience dental anxiety and fears for various reasons, including: * Previous bad experiences at the dentist’s office. * Fear of pain. * Feeling helpless or not in control of the situation. * Embarrassment about the state of their teeth and gums. Being unfamiliar with the instruments, noises and smells in the dental office. This is especially true for young children. At Southeast Family Dental, we understand how the dentist’s office can cause anxiety and fears. But calming fears isn’t just for kids, some adults need help calming their anxiety at the dentist, too. So a dentist located in Northbrook, IL, has found an ingenious way to do just that. He brings a trained comfort dog into his office. The golden retriever soothes nervous kids and adults alike by comforting them during dental exams. In fact, the golden retriever has a sixth sense when it comes to figuring out exactly who needs him the most. A comfort dog really is an excellent idea to calm dental fears, because animals tend to have a soothing effect on people. Other ideas that dentists may use to calm your fears, include: * Providing you with an iPad and headphones, so you can listen to relaxing music or watch a TV program to distract you. * Offering you a blanket for warmth, comfort and the feeling of security. * Giving you nitrous oxide or other sedatives to help you feel relaxed during dental exams or procedures. If you suffer from dental anxiety and fears, talk to our team at Southeast Family Dental. We can talk to you about what to expect during your appointment and help you find ways to ease your fears. We want to make sure your dental experience is as calm, comfortable and stress-free as possible for you.
Stress is a normal part of life. Everyone experiences it at some point. It can cause you to feel anxious, sad, or stressed about a situation. While the occasional feeling of stress is normal, having feelings of stress all the time can take a toll on your health. IMPACT OF STRESS ON ORAL HEALTH Stress can have a major impact on your health, and it can have a similarly major impact on your oral health. Most people have probably experienced an ulcer at some point in their life, and an ulcer is just one example of the way chronic stress can negatively impact your oral and overall health. * When your body is stressed, it releases cortisol, which is a hormone that increases your blood glucose levels. This increase in blood sugar can lead to inflammation, which can trigger the body's immune response to fight off infection or injury. However, when the immune system is overstimulated, it can lead to an increase in gum disease. * Not only can stress increase the chances of developing gum disease, but it can also increase your risk for more serious diseases, such as cancer. This is because your immune system becomes weakened by stress, and compromised health can make it harder for your immune system to fight disease effectively. * Additionally, stress can cause bruxism – an abnormal clenching of the jaw and grinding of teeth while sleeping. This can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD causes pain in your jaw that can be chronic. And, since it does affect your smile, it's considered part of your oral health. If you are suffering from this, we may be able to help by finding a custom oral appliance you can wear at night to protect your teeth from damage. We can also recommend other ways to cope with stress and advise you on steps you can take to improve your oral health. WAYS TO MINIMIZE STRESS Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize the effects of stress on your body. Regular exercise is one of the best options, as it can help keep your body healthy, strong, and balanced. You should also try to stick to a healthy diet, limit alcohol consumption, drink plenty of water during the day, and try to get enough sleep each night. When you're under a lot of stress, you should make sure to keep up with your regular checkup and cleaning appointments. We can work with you to identify problem areas in your smile and take steps to help you prevent symptoms from getting worse over time. If you're overdue for your annual exam and cleaning, then it's time to give us a call to schedule your next appointment. We can be reached at (317) 359-8000. Our dentist's office is located in Indianapolis, IN, and we look forward to helping you keep your smile healthy for many years to come!
Southeast Family Dental is pleased to announce that Dr. Mark Bohnert and Dr. Laura Geiger have been selected by a vote of their peers to be Top Dentists, www.usatopdentists.com. and featured in the “Best of Indy” December issue of of Indianapolis Monthly. Indianapolis Monthly December 2018Dr. Bohnert is a 10-year winner and Dr. Geiger is a 3-year winner of the Top Dentist award. This honor is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which dentists and specialists throughout Indiana cast votes on the abilities of other dentists and specialists. Inclusion in Top Dentists is considered a singular honor. Dr. Laura Geiger responded to the announcement. “We are thrilled to have been voted Top Dentists. This honor shows us that we are meeting our mission to change the way you feel about going to the dentist, while giving you more reasons to smile.”
Drinking water is essential to your health. Water helps to transport nutrients in your body, regulates your body temperature, lubricates your joints, helps build muscle, digests food and improves your skin complexion. And, yes, water really is healthy for your teeth, especially if it’s fluoridated. Some reasons why water is beneficial to your teeth include: * Tap water may contain fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that naturally occurs in almost all water supplies. Also fluoride can be added to a town’s water supply. Fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay. According to the American Dental Association, it has been shown to reduce the rate of cavities by as much as 60%. However, it’s important to note that not all bottled waters contain fluoride. * Water naturally rinses your teeth and keep them clean. When you drink water, especially after eating, it helps wash away food particles and acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. Therefore, if you can’t brush your teeth while you’re out, drink a glass of water and swish the water around in your mouth to help clean your teeth until you can get home and brush. * Drinking water helps to decrease the pH level in your mouth. The neutral pH level in your mouth is 7.0. When you eat or drink acidic foods and beverages, the pH level can drop below 5.0. Too much acid can cause bad bacteria to grow, leading to tooth decay, which occurs when the pH level in your mouth is 5.5 or lower. But drinking water can help neutralize the effects of acid in your mouth. * Water helps alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth. When your salivary glands don’t make enough saliva in your mouth, dry mouth can occur. You need an adequate supply of saliva to neutralize the acids produced by bacteria and to wash away food particles. Otherwise, a mouth that’s too dry can increase your risk of developing tooth decay. Drink water as part of your daily dental health routine As you see, drinking water really is healthy for your teeth. So make drinking water a regular part of your daily dental health routine, in addition to brushing and flossing. But be careful of some seltzer waters. Some are advertised as water, but contain additional sweeteners that make them just as harmful as soda. Also, they are more acidic than flat water so should be limited due to their ability to erode teeth. Also, remember to schedule your biannual dental checkups with Southeast Family Dental by calling us at (317) 359-8000.