When we develop toothaches, does that automatically mean we need treatment for a cavity? A variety of factors can cause an aching tooth, but when should we make the call and see a dentist? In today’s blog, we’re going to answer commonly asked questions about the causes of toothaches.

Frequently Asked Questions About Toothaches and Cavities

Question: What causes a cavity?

Answer: A cavity forms when the outer layer of tooth enamel, which typically protects the tooth from harmful bacteria, is compromised. This can occur due to injury, such as a chipped or cracked tooth, or due to poor oral hygiene weakening the enamel. Bacteria can then reach the inner layers of dentin, causing a cavity to form.

Question: Does a toothache always mean decay?

Answer: Toothaches can form due to sinus issues or change in air pressure such as when riding a plane. However, these aches are short-lived and pass after about an hour or a day. But toothaches and tooth sensitivity that lasts more than 48 hours could be a sign that you have a larger problem that needs to be addressed. You should then see us for a diagnosis and if necessary, to discuss treatment options.

Question: How do you stop a cavity?

Answer: We typically place a dental filling, which can be done in one visit using a lifelike composite resin. For more serious cases of decay, we can place a custom-made dental crown, which takes about two visits. Both options stop the decay and protect the tooth from further complications, such as dental infection.

Question: What can I do to avoid toothaches?

Answer: You can avoid sugary foods and drinks, brush and floss daily, and see us every six months for a checkup and a thorough dental cleaning. These steps can help safeguard your smile against cavities. For younger patients, we can also use fluoride treatments and dental sealants to help strengthen the teeth.

Do You Have an Aching Tooth?

Our team can assess the cause of your pain and recommend the most appropriate treatment option. To schedule a consultation, call the Viva Dental Family Dentistry office nearest you at (214) 337-7800 (Dallas) or (972) 437-6000 (Richardson).