Do You Have A Cavity?

If you have an ache in one of your teeth, or notice they feel sensitive to hot or cold foods and drinks, this could mean you have a cavity. Once the discomfort is apparent, the decay is in the advanced stages and the risk of infection is elevated, so you may need to see our team for emergency treatment. In today’s blog, your Des Moines, IA, dentist talks about treating tooth decay and protecting smiles.

Causes and Warning Signs of Tooth Decay

The enamel coating our teeth is the hardest substance in the human body, and usually protects the sensitive inner layers of tooth structure from bacteria. However, poor oral hygiene could allow plaque to accumulate on the surfaces of the teeth, which weakens and erodes the enamel. An injury could also compromise the protective layer, cracking or chipping it. As bacteria reaches the dentin, a cavity forms and will continue to grow and spread throughout the tooth unless treated. People with a cavity may report tooth sensitivity to foods, drinks, and cold air, or a toothache that doesn’t subside with time. As the tooth becomes infected, pain when eating is reported, as is swelling near the tooth in question, or a discharge from it.

When to See Our Team

When you experience persistent pain, let us know. We offer emergency treatment, and that includes restorative treatments for issues like advanced tooth decay or dental infection. When you contact our office, we will schedule a time for you to see us that guarantees you don’t share the waiting room with other people. In between all visits, our team will also thoroughly clean and disinfect tools and surfaces throughout the office. We take steps to ensure the health and safety of our patients and team members!

Treating Your Decayed Tooth

For most cavities, we will place a filling. We start by removing the decay from the tooth and then cleaning it. We next prepare and place a composite resin, a metal-free blend of glass and acrylic that matches the color of your tooth. We then shape the tooth as we cure the composite resin under a light. The final step involves polishing the tooth. If the tooth is infected, then a root canal could allow us to extract the infected tissue and then we would restore the tooth with a natural-looking crown.


Don’t let a cavity lead to a more serious oral health concern, let us know if you begin to experience discomfort. To learn more about our approach to smile restoration and repair, then schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.