Holes in tooth enamel are called dental caries or cavities. They often go unnoticed until some serious dental problem arises. Dental cavities can happen at any age, due to the acid formation in your mouth. However, kids are more prone to it, as they neglect dental hygiene.
Is a Tiny Hole in a Tooth Bad?
A tiny hole in a tooth is a sign of a cavity. When the surface of your tooth is attacked by bacteria, they try to eat away your tooth. From enamel to pulp, they dig up your whole tooth structure till it falls apart. If left untreated, it can result in tooth loss.
Symptoms of Cavities
Cavities often come as silent invaders. They might not cause any pain in the early stages. Routine dental checkups are the key to their timely detection.
The following are common symptoms:
- Toothache: Pain or discomfort in or around the affected tooth is a known sign of a cavity. The pain can be mild to intense and triggered by hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks.
- Sensitivity: Increased sensitivity to extreme temperatures and sweet or acidic foods can be an early sign of tooth decay. This sensitivity can persist even after the stimulus is removed.
- Visible Holes or Pits: As cavities progress, they can dig visible holes or pits in the enamel of the affected tooth. These can be apparent during a visual inspection.
- Staining: Discoloration of the tooth enamel, appearing as white, brown, or black spots, can indicate the presence of cavities.
- Bad Breath: Bacteria that cause tooth decay can produce bad odors, leading to bad breath (halitosis).
- Pain when Chewing: Discomfort when chewing or biting down on food can happen, especially if the cavity is formed on a biting surface.
- Swelling or Pus: A dental abscess can develop once the cavity has advanced. This causes a bag of pus to form at the dental root and swelling around the affected tooth. This requires an immediate dental response.
Treatment for a Small Hole in the Tooth
The answer to the question” What does a small hole in a tooth mean” is simple, a cavity! Once a cavity has been formed and advanced enough to be visible on teeth. It needs dental attention. Your dentist can use:
- Dental Fillings: For mild to moderate cavities, dental fillings can be effective. Your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill it up with composite resin, amalgam, gold, or porcelain.
- Dental Crown: If the cavity has advanced beyond the capacity of dental fillings. A dental crown or cap can be used. The decayed portion of the tooth is removed and a cap is placed over the remaining tooth structure for protection.
- Root Canal Therapy: If the cavity has invaded the tooth pulp, your dentist can perform a root canal. During the procedure, he will remove the infected pulp and thoroughly clean it from inside. Then seal with a crown.
- Extraction: Your dentist will try everything to save your natural tooth. Until he finds out it’s beyond repair. Then he might perform a tooth extraction to save your jawbone.
An early detection of a cavity is what saves you from pain and expensive dental treatment. Therefore, a dental checkup every 6 months to 1 year is necessary.
Dr. Aliasgar Y. Mogri at Porter Smiles Dental can help you close these breeding grounds for bacteria. He is committed to learning the latest in the areas of restorative dentistry. Dial (281) 519-7200 to find the most advanced solution to your dental problems.