Are you experiencing discomfort that goes beyond brain freeze when you indulge in your favorite ice cream? Does a hot cup of coffee mean a flash of pain instead of a delicious wake-up call? Are sensitive teeth and a dull, throbbing pain holding you back from activities you used to enjoy? You may not just be going through a bout of harmless tooth sensitivity, but you may be experiencing tooth decay.
What is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is also known as a cavity. It happens when the hard enamel and cementum that guard your teeth get destroyed by harmful bacteria and plaque. When this protective layer disappears, your nerves are exposed which leads to discomfort and pain when eating hot and cold food. Therefore, sensitive teeth is a side effect of tooth decay and is a strong indicator that something is wrong with your teeth. However, here’s some great news: Your dentist can reverse tooth decay when it’s caught early.
How to Treat Tooth Decay
You can prevent tooth decay by sticking to a regular home care routine that involves regular brushing and flossing. However, sometimes even the most diligent of dental patients can find a cavity or two over time. When this happens, you need to combine proper home care with operative care.
Your dentist will most likely give you a dental filling, which fills in the hole in your tooth to restore its full function and eliminate pain. If the pulp inside the tooth is damaged as well, your dentist will remove it and seal your tooth to stop a toothache and decay from spreading further.
What to Do When you Suspect tooth Decay
When you suspect tooth decay is your problem, you should first call your dentist to get a thorough checkup. But what can you do to keep the damage minimized until your appointment? Your main goal is to stay as comfortable as possible while keeping your teeth clean. Though you’ll ultimately need to see your dentist to get your tooth decay repaired, here’s what you can do until your appointment.
Avoid Hot, Cold, Sweet, & Acidic Foods and Beverages
Because the enamel is missing on some parts of your teeth, your nerves are going to be exposed, which make hot, cold, sweet, and acidic foods triggers for pain and discomfort. It’s best to not cause more pain or decay by integrating such food and drinks into your diet until your enamel is repaired. It’s especially important to avoid sugars and acid because they can make the decay progress faster.
Use OTC Pain Remedies
If your appointment is a few days away, you can always ask your dentist which medications are appropriate to take to minimize the pain. Your dentist can recommend the most effective medications and dosage that you can use to get immediate relief.
You can even see if your dentist would suggest any natural remedies such as using essential oils. For example, oil of cloves has both pain-relieving and bacteria-killing properties that can help relieve your pain naturally. However, only use such remedies if your dentist says it’s right for you.
Some pharmacies carry OTC sealing kits that can temporarily block your cavity. However, only use this if your dentist gives you the clear to do so. Using this kind of kit improperly can do more harm than good.
Continue to Brush and Floss
While cleaning your teeth will be uncomfortable, it’s necessary to maintain your routine to not allow the situation to get worse. If brushing with cold water is too uncomfortable, switch to using warm water. Avoid brushing directly on your cavity and make sure to floss everywhere you can to remove all the plaque and bacteria.
Manage Tooth Decay in Los Angeles
As a dental patient, you should report every toothache or discomfort that you experience to your dentist to resolve issues before they get big. To get relief from tooth decay or to schedule an appointment for any other dental care need, contact us.