Simply put, a hole in the tooth is termed a cavity, caused by tooth decay. Cavities are quite a common health problem in the United States. Holes in teeth may be caused by a high starch and sugar diet or bacteria in the mouth.
It is natural, and beneficial, to have good bacteria in your mouth, but it will become a problem if you have poor oral hygiene. Researchers explain that the normal bacteria in the mouth usually combine with saliva and food, forming plaque. Plaque is invisible, but it’s a sticky substance that accumulates speedily.
People who have a hole in a tooth and no pain may have early-stage cavities. Learning how to treat this, as well as how to prevent it, will keep your mouth healthy.
Holes in your teeth may be painful, but you could have holes in teeth or a dental abscess without experiencing pain. The area may be sore, even if the pain is not constant. Of course, the best solution is to visit your dentist as soon as you can. If you can see a hole in your tooth, you have probably been putting off a trip to your dentist. A timely visit will minimize the negative impact of the cavity.
How can you have a Hole in your Tooth with no Pain?
If you understand cavities, you’ll understand why some holes just don’t hurt. Cavities are simply erosion along the outer surface, or enamel, of the tooth. The decay can lead to pits in the tooth, and bacteria reproduce there. As the erosion deepens, only then does the nerve in the center of the tooth may be affected, and this will lead to pain and swelling.
So, most cavities aren’t painful until they’re deep enough to reach the root of the nerve. This is why your dentist suggests doing screenings two times a year to seek out and treat cavities, before they hurt.
If decay reaches the nerves, you’ll need more than a filling. You’ll need a root canal in order to save the tooth, or you can have the tooth extracted. If cavities go untreated, they will become larger, and spread to deeper layers in your teeth. This may lead to more infection, a severe toothache and tooth loss.
Eat foods that are tooth-healthy to reduce tooth-related issues. Avoid foods that could become stuck in the grooves and pits of your teeth. Brush your teeth after you eat. Choose foods that increase the flow of saliva, to wash away food particles. You may want to consider unsweetened coffee or tea and lots of fresh vegetables and fruits.
Treatment for a Hole in a Tooth
- Dental Fillings
When you have a tooth filled, your dentist will usually give you a local anesthesia, and then use a drill or laser to remove the decay from your tooth. The drill heads have burs that will get through your enamel, in order that the decay can be removed.
After the decay is removed, your dentist will prep the space in your mouth for your filling, by carefully shaping it. He may use a base or liner to protect the nerves. Liners can be manufactured from various materials, including composite resin, glass ionomer, zinc oxide or eugenol.
- Tooth Extractions
Sometimes a tooth can become decayed to the extent that it cannot be filled or helped with a root canal procedure. Removing the tooth could lead to a gap in the teeth, and some shifting of the other teeth is possible. Due to this eventuality, many people take their dentist’s recommendation and replace the missing tooth with a dental bridge or implant.
When you take your seat in the dentist’s chair, so that he can look at the hole in your tooth, he will likely take x-rays to make sure the cavity isn’t too close to your nerves. He may also test your reaction to a cold cotton swab, to see how sensitive the tooth is, and to determine the best treatment course.
Your dentist will keep an eye on your tooth into the future, watching for any signs of swelling or infection. This LINK shows an analysis of a deep dental cavity, and the treatment required in various scenarios, as told by a dentist.
- Root Canals
If decay has reached the inner material of your tooth, known as the pulp, you may have to have a root canal procedure. This involves removing the diseased tooth pulp, perhaps adding medications to clear any further infection, and then replacing the tooth pulp with a filling. Crowns are often used over teeth that have had root canals, to keep their appearance as close to natural as possible.
What other Tooth Problems should you Watch for?
Besides a hole in a tooth, or tooth decay that causes visible pits or pain when eating or drinking or tooth sensitivity, there are other dental problems to consider.
This is caused by dental plaque accumulation on the teeth. In this first stage of gum disease, it leads to gum inflammation. Unremoved plaque becomes tartar, which leads to red, sensitive, inflamed gums. You can prevent it by brushing and flossing daily, to remove plaque.
- Gum Disease (Periodontitis)
This is the advanced stage of gum disease. The tissues that support your teeth, like gums and bones, become inflamed. As time passes, the dental tissue will detach from your teeth, which increases gaps between teeth and gums. This leads to the exposure of gums, as the teeth become looser. It may also result in bone loss and eventual loss of a tooth or teeth.
- Dental Abscesses
These affect the gums or teeth, as they are created from pus. They are caused by bacterial infections, which frequently begin as tooth infections or cavities. Abscesses generally cause pain, redness and swelling.
As abscesses advance, you may experience nausea, vomiting, fever, chills or diarrhea. You may also have oral swelling, tenderness, pus drainage and gum inflammation.
- Receding Gums
Receding gums are caused when the gums that surround your teeth wear away. It’s usually caused by poor oral hygiene or gum disease, like periodontitis and gingivitis. Receding gums may take months or even years to fully develop, and your teeth will appear longer. Slowly, the spaces between teeth and roots will become more visible, and the tooth will have increased sensitivity. If untreated, you may lose the teeth involved.
Check out this Video to learn the Top 10 Dental Health Tips for Proper Oral Hygiene