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Cavities are formed when dental decay attacks a tooth. Decay occurs when the bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugary foods you eat and drink, and producing acids. These acids mix with bacteria, food particles and saliva to form dental plaque, a sticky film that coats the teeth.

The acids in plaque wear away tooth enamel and allow tiny openings that cause cavities to form and thrive as it reaches the dentin layer of the tooth. Bacteria and plaque then wear away the dentin to affect the inner layer or tooth pulp. Left untreated, the bone which supports the tooth may also be affected.

Unless this decay is addressed, you will experience tooth sensitivity, a toothache, or pain when you bite down or chew. Once this invasion of bacteria advances, your body will send out white blood cells to fight it, leaving you with an abscessed tooth requiring a root canal.

What are the signs that you may have a cavity?

  • Sharp or throbbing pain in a tooth.
  • Pain when chewing food or biting down.
  • Sensitivity when breathing in cold air through the mouth.
  • Noticing a dark spot on a tooth.
  • Sensitivity to hot/cold foods and drinks.
  • Sensitivity when eating sticky, sweet, or sour foods.
  • Losing a dental filling.
  • Fracturing or chipping a tooth.

When Dr. Kent Nuttall treats a cavity, he will remove the decay and fill the hole with a filling material.  We are a mercury-free practice, so we use only composite (tooth-colored) materials. If you have a cavity, please reach out to our Nuttall Smiles team in Auburn, Washington. We are always here to help you with your oral care. Please call us at 253-939-0700 today!