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Symptoms of a Cavity

If you suspect you need a tooth filling, then you need to see your dentist in Lake Stevens, WA soon. Whether you have a cavity, or you have lost an existing filling, the dentist needs to clean the area and put the filling in to guard against contamination. Here are some common signs that you might need a filling.

A Toothache or Sharp Pain

One of the clearest ways to tell you to need a filling is when you experience pain in your tooth. Unless you have recently damaged the tooth, it is likely that you have developed a cavity near the location of a toothache. This may be a constant toothache that throbs and aches no matter what you do. It may also be a sharp pain that you feel when chewing or drinking something hot or cold. If this pain continues and becomes more frequent, then you should see your dentist soon.


Sometimes, people have naturally sensitive teeth. This comes from overactive tooth and gum nerves, or it can stem from receding gums that are slowly exposing the nerves. If tooth sensitivity is a new sensation, it could be indicative of worn enamel and developing cavities that need fillings—especially if sensitivity is isolated to just one area.

Dark Spot or Hole in Tooth

If you can actually spot what might be a cavity, then you should definitely see your dentist for a filling. A noticeable cavity will probably look like a dark spot or hole on your tooth. If the cavity has become very large, you may even be able to feel the hole with your tongue or finger. See your dentist right away before that filling turns into a root canal and crown procedure.

Broken or Lost Filling

Though you may not be able to tell, sometimes you can lose or break a filling. You may be able to feel or see where a filling has popped out, or you can simply feel that something is different with the tooth. Make an appointment to see your dentist, so he can replace the filling before bacteria invades the drilled cavity.


Cavity Formation Process

Causes of a Cavity

Cavities are one of the most common forms of oral health problems. They occur as the result of tooth decay and can be treated in your dental office in Lake Stevens, WA with a filling, or in severe cases, a root canal. What exactly are cavities, how do they form, and what can you do to prevent them? Here is what you need to know:

Tooth Decay Process

Tooth decay occurs as the result of bacteria and sugars building up on your teeth and forming a sticky film called plaque. Bacteria and sugars are almost constantly building, while minerals in your saliva and fluoride from a number of different sources work to protect your teeth and repair damage being done by the plaque to your tooth enamel. You help to tip the balance of power in favor of the protective substances by brushing twice daily and flossing at least once. When you do so, you remove plaque from your teeth and stop the damaging effects. If you don’t, then decay is allowed to progress and a cavity may form.

Cavity Formation

Over time, if plaque remains on your teeth, it releases acids that destroy the minerals in your tooth enamel. Eating acidic or sugary foods and drinks can exacerbate this process. If the loss of enamel isn’t reversed by changes in your oral hygiene routine, then eventually, the enamel will be destroyed and a cavity will form. A cavity is a decayed, damaged part of a tooth that cannot be repaired by your body’s own immune system and must be filled by a dentist. If a cavity is allowed to grow, the decay will spread and may reach the roots of the tooth, in which case a root canal may be necessary.

Cavity Prevention

Being diligent with your oral hygiene routine is the best way to prevent cavities. You should visit your dental office twice yearly for exams and cleanings. During your dental check-ups, your dentist will look for signs of cavities in their early stages and offer tips to help you reverse them so that you can avoid the need for fillings.