My tooth hurts. Does it mean that I have a cavity?

Today I will tell you that the answer to this blog heading is:  NO !

Sometimes when a tooth comes into contact with the opposing teeth in a way that directs excess force to the neck of the tooth,  this can cause micro-fracture of the enamel there.  When the outside layer of the tooth (enamel) is stripped, the inside layer (dentin) is exposed.  The tooth can become sensitive to substances that are cold, sweet, sour, etc…

There is no cavity in the photographs below, but the symptoms make the patient think that a cavity is there.

Take a look at the indentation (the notch) at the neck of this tooth:

Now…

Observe how the same tooth is the only one that contacts the lower teeth when the patient moves her jaw from side to side.

…………………………………………………………………………….

Alex Nguyen, DDS is a Saratoga Dentist who practices General Dentistry, Cosmetic, and Implant Dentistry. For over 20 years the practice has been serving the residents of Santa Clara County and San Francisco Bay Area.

About alexnguyen

My career passion is to help enhance, restore, and preserve people's smiles View all posts by alexnguyen

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