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Do Cavities Hurt?

Posted on 1/9/2023 by Dr. Michael Wockenfus
Do Cavities Hurt?Not all cavities hurt. Some cavities have not reached the dentinal stage or do not include the pulp, so they are just small holes in the teeth that need to be fixed. By having the teeth filled early, you can prevent them from hurting at a future date.

The Progression of Decay

A cavity will not hurt if the decay has not spread to the dentinal level or pupal area of the tooth. When decay reaches a nerve, that is what causes tooth pain. If the decay reaches the dentin, a tooth can become more sensitive because the dentin is softer and does not re-mineralize like the enamel. In addition, the dentin contains small tubes that lead to the nerves of a tooth, thereby increasing sensitivity. If the decay reaches the pulp, you can experience some serious pain, as the pulp contains both blood vessels and nerves, thereby causing a tooth to throb and hurt. When this happens, a root canal is normally recommended to remove the pulp, clean the root canals, and seal the tooth.

Why Are Some People More Susceptible to Tooth Pain and Decay?

Many factors can influence vulnerability to decay, particularly a person's microbiome. The microbiome is each person's bacterial colony – a colony that either inhibits or supports the growth of harmful oral bacteria. The bacteria that cause cavities can even be contagious. You can transmit cavity-causing bacteria through sharing drinks and food, sneezing, or kissing. Therefore, it is important that all members in a household practice good oral hygiene.

Cavities can hurt. That is why we stress that patients brush at least twice a day and floss daily. We also want you to schedule regular checkups for preventative care. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment. We can always make room for you, even if you have a busy schedule. Don't wait until you are in pain until you seek any kind of dental treatment.

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Dental Blog • Menasha, WI • Mid Valley Dental, S.C.
Michael J. Wockenfus, DDS created a blog to educate the community. It is your resource for all dentistry questions. Learn and read topics in the blog here!
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