Have you ever had a cavity? Despite common belief, it’s not something that happens to everyone. With proper oral care, you can avoid getting them altogether.

That said, if you already believe you may have a cavity, there are treatment options to eliminate the pain.

To understand what an occlusal cavity is and the treatment options for it, it makes sense to have a basic overview of the inner workings of teeth.

What Is a Cavity?

Let’s start by going over what teeth are made of. Teeth are made out of four layers:

1. Enamel: This is the hardest part of your tooth (of your entire body, actually). It’s the outside layer covering your teeth. It’s what you see in the mirror when you smile (if you have healthy teeth, that is). It’s what you brush.

Its purpose is to protect your teeth from bacteria and acids when you eat. This is because the inside layers of your teeth contain nerves. Nerves are ultra sensitive to cold and hot temperatures.

If it weren’t for your tooth enamel, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy things such as ice cream or hot coffee. So yes, you should definitely be making an effort to keep your enamel healthy. This is especially so because this layer doesn’t contain any cells. Once you lose it, it won’t regenerate. Sayonara. Adiós. Bye, Felicia.

2. Dentin: This is the layer underneath enamel. It’s what most of a tooth is made of. If the tooth’s enamel erodes, the dentin is exposed and the person will experience tooth sensitivity. This is because the surface of dentin is porous, which allows substances to get closer to nerve endings.

3. Pulp: The pulp is right in the middle of a tooth. It’s made out of soft tissue and has all the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels. Pulp is responsible for forming dentin.

4. Cementum: This part covers the root of your teeth and attaches them to your bones.

A cavity occurs when portions of a tooth become permanently damaged. This happens due to poor oral hygiene and choosing sugary drinks and snacks over healthier options.

Untreated, a cavity will get larger and deeper. The more layers it affects, the more pain a person is going to feel.

If it gets to the pulp, this interior layer will become inflamed, which is extremely painful. And the only way to take care of a cavity that has reached the pulp is to have a root canal. If that’s your cup of tea, by all means, skip brushing and flossing and swish your teeth with soda.

What Is an Occlusal Cavity?

An occlusal cavity is one that has only affected the enamel (top layer) of the back teeth. This is important to know because often, people overlook taking care of their molars. Just because they’re back there, it doesn’t mean you should neglect them.

Symptoms of a Cavity

Some of the most common signs of having a cavity are the following:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Pain when eating or drinking cold food or beverages
  • Pain when eating or drinking hot food or beverages
  • Pain when you bite down
  • Pain when chewing
  • Foul taste in your mouth
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Dark spots on your teeth
  • Tiny holes on your teeth
  • Swelling in your gums
  • Fever (when it has affected the deepest layers)

How to Prevent Cavities? | How to Prevent Cavities From Getting Worse

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, for at least two minutes.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months.
  • Floss every day. Yes. Every single day. It’s more enjoyable than tooth decay.
  • Skip sugary drinks. It won’t make a difference if you use a straw.
  • Go to the dentist regularly. Brushing alone won’t remove tartar buildup.

Think You Have a Cavity? Schedule an Appointment With Impeccable Smiles Today for Treatment

Going to the dentist is not exactly a fun experience, but we will make it as pleasant as possible.

If you think you have a cavity, we can help you minimize the pain and prevent you from getting additional ones.

Contact us to schedule an appointment. Happy smiling!