Tooth decay often goes unnoticed, but can sometimes cause uncomfortable symptoms.

Tooth decay is a common condition that affects both adults and children. When left untreated, tooth decay can cause cavities — or holes — to develop in the teeth. But what are the symptoms of tooth decay? And what can be done to resolve the issue? Read on to find out more about the possible signs of a cavity and when you should see your dentist…

What are the signs of a cavity?

In many cases, it is not possible to identify a cavity on your own. Your dentist is likely to see it during a routine check-up, often with the help of a dental x-ray. There are, however, a few possible symptoms that could indicate that you have a cavity. These include pain in the affected tooth, especially when you eat or drink something hot, cold or sweet; tooth sensitivity; discolouration or dark spots on the affected tooth; a hole or crack that you can see or feel with your tongue; swollen gums; and persistent bad breath.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is advisable that you see your dentist as soon as possible so that they can provide you with a proper diagnosis and recommend an appropriate course of action.

How is tooth decay treated?

If your dentist identifies tooth decay, they may recommend that you have a filling placed in order to stop the spread of the decay and strengthen the affected tooth. The process of having a filling placed is fairly simple. The affected area will be numbed, so that you won’t feel any discomfort, and your dentist will use a high-speed drill to remove as much decay as possible. A slow-speed drill will then be used to get rid of any remaining tooth decay. When all of the decay has been removed, the remaining hole will be sealed with a composite resin filling. In order to secure the filling, a bonding agent will be applied to the tooth and a blue light will be used to strengthen and harden the filling. The filling will then be shaped and smoothed for a comfortable and natural-looking fit. The material of the filling can be colour matched to blend in with the natural tooth, which helps to achieve a discreet appearance.

Can you prevent tooth decay?

The good news is that tooth decay and cavities can be prevented with the right care. The best thing you can do in order to maintain your oral health is to practice proper oral hygiene on a daily basis. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily.

It is also advisable that you eat a balanced diet and limit your consumption of sugary foods and drinks. Sugar contributes to the build-up of plaque, which can lead to tooth decay over time.

It is also important that you see your dentist for regular check-ups and cleans. This will help to keep oral health issues at bay, and if you do have a cavity, it can be resolved in its early stages before it becomes more complicated.

How can we help?

At Ironside Advanced Dental, we offer a range of general dentistry services, including fillings for the treatment of tooth decay. We provide white fillings, which achieve a natural-looking aesthetic and blend in seamlessly with one’s natural teeth.

If you have noticed any of the symptoms of tooth decay, we encourage you to come in for a check-up as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can go a long way in stopping the spread of the decay and preventing further damage. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to structural problems, as well as infection and pain.

If you would like to find out about how we treat tooth decay with fillings at Ironside Advanced Dental, please have a look here.

Professor Ironside also offers a range of other general dental treatments, including microscope dentistry and virtually pain-free dentistry —have a look at the full list of general services here.

To book an appointment with Professor Jim Ironside, please get in touch here or give us a call on (02) 9267 3495.