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The Dentist Says I Have A Cavity, But I'm Not In Pain

Posted on 8/27/2016 by Dr. Thomas Young
An elderly woman having a cavity treated.Your dentist may have spotted one or multiple cavities that you were unaware of. A tooth does not have to be in pain to experience a cavity, ideally your dentist will catch cavities before they become a painful problem.

The Depth of your Cavity

Your teeth are constructed in layers. The layer you can see, is a hard layer known as enamel. This is the outside portion of your teeth, which allows you to use them, enamel is strong and protects the other layers of your teeth.

If you are experiencing a cavity that is not painful, it would mean that the cavity is shallow and has not extended below the enamel layer. You do not want a cavity to extend below the enamel.

Under your enamel is another hard layer, though softer than enamel, this hard layer is called dentin. If the cavity reaches your layer of dentin, you will be aware of it. It may not be painful at this point, but it will be sensitive to hot and cold. You will feel a twinge of pain to sudden temperature differences, though not necessarily a constant discomfort.

Below your enamel is the pulp. The pulp consists of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues. If the pulp becomes infected, you will be in pain. Infected pulp can be very painful and does require the attention of a dentist to cure.

Infected pulp will not heal on its own. Once the cavity has extended this to this point, you have subjected yourself to abscesses and even damage to your bone. It is likely that a root canal procedure is necessary.

Taking care of cavities quickly, when your dentist spots them small and shallow, is best for your oral health. Please contact us of you have any questions about cavities and your oral health.

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