Should I feel a cavity? How can I have a cavity if I do not feel it?
I wish that all my patients could feel a cavity on their tooth. My job would be easier and my patients would have better oral health if any small or large cavity was felt as soon as the patient developed it on a tooth because they would call as soon as possible to get it removed. However, that is not how it works in the mouth unfortunately.
Cavities usually develop on enamel first. Enamel is a strong dense boney structure. It does not have pores leading to your pulp (nerve). Because there are no pores in enamel there is no mechanism for you to feel any difference in your tooth. That is a blessing and a curse.
Consider if you developed a tooth ache every single time the enamel started to decalcify or decay? Humans would be in chronic pain or aggravation. I guess it was evolution that allowed us to not feel every single minor ache and pain so we could hunt and gather food. Although, it would make a dentist’s job much easier if the patient told us where it hurts from cavity pain. Patients would be calling and making visits for cavity pain. Or when we saw decay during a cleaning visit, they would say “yeah, I felt that cavity starting”. ”
Conversely, when a patient does feel a “cavity” it’s usually too late to fill. A pain in the tooth from a cavity, mostly, means that the nerve is infected and needs extraction or a root canal. So we are left with getting cavities and having our dentists telling us we have them.
Our office, Smile Solutions, uses an intra oral camera that can actually show the patient a picture of the dark cavity. I try to take one as much as possible so the patient feels comfortable about the procedure and is more educated about their dental health.
If you have any dental concerns, call our office, 302-999-8113, and ask for a free consultation.
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