Murray Hill Family Dental's Blog

What Are Hidden Cavities And How Can You Prevent Them?

Monday April 27, 2015 by
Melissa Brown, DDS

When you think of cavities, you probably think of tooth aches and a lot of pain, right? Would it surprise you to know that there are some cavities that are actually painless and even unnoticeable in some X-Rays? This means that some cavities can be easily missed! Hidden cavities can be dangerous, so it is important to know how to detect them, and more importantly, how to avoid getting them in general.

WHAT ARE DENTAL CAVITIES

We have all heard of cavities before. They are the reasons why our parents would not let us have too much candy when we were younger! A cavity is what you get from tooth decayor damage to the tooth. It can affect both the outer coating of the tooth (enamel) as well as the inner layer (dentin). Cavities are usually painful, and they can be easily spotted by a dentist.

However, there are some “hidden cavities” that are harder to spot. These cavities, or hidden caries, are often missed in an exam because they are so deeply hidden within the pits and fissures of the teeth.

These hidden cavities form when a build-up of plaque forms in hard-to-reach places in your mouth. If hidden dental caries go untreated, or worse, unnoticed, they can become more painful as the enamel and dentin become destroyed. If they are still left untreated at that point, it can begin to decay your tooth down to the root, causing the root to become exposed and extremely painful.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF HIDDEN CARIES

The good news is there is plenty you can do to prevent these hidden cavities. The first, and most important, thing to do is to maintain good oral health. This means brushing, flossing, and rinsing daily.

Getting routine dental exams every six months must be involved as well. Another thing you can do to avoid dental cavities is to avoid sugary foods, sticky foods, and other damaging substances that can be harmful to your teeth. There are a few signs to watch out for if you think you may have a cavity:
• Sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures
• Toothache
• Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot, or cold
• Visible holes or pits in your teeth
• Brown, black, or white staining on any surface of a tooth
• Pain when you bite down

HOW DO WE FIND AND TREAT HIDDEN CARIES OR CAVITIES

Since hidden caries can go undetected with regular X-Ray technology, we have adopted a technology called DIAGNOdent to help detect small lesions at the earliest stage and allow us to help to protect and preserve your tooth substance.

We also use an Intra-Oral camera, which enables us to see everything going on your mouth. The camera is the size of a dental mirror, and the images are displayed on a flat screen that allows you to see what we are seeing. Another technology we use in preventing and treating cavities is our air abrasion technology, which works like a mini sandblaster and removes tooth decay.

We know getting cavities is not a fun experience, and we want to do our very best to ensure that you are getting the best care when it comes to the prevention and treatment of hidden dental cavities and caries. By getting regular dental cleanings, you can prevent cavities from forming. If you have further questions or would like to set up an appointment, please contact us!

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