An Emergency Dentist Explains Treating Painful Cavities

Emergency Dentist Miami, FL

Minor dental pain is rarely a concern. However, severe tooth or gum pain may require treatment from an emergency dentist. In many situations, this type of dental discomfort can prevent a person from performing essential everyday tasks. It is often caused by cavities, which can worsen or cause complications if left untreated.

What causes painful cavities?

There is a reason dental professionals recommend brushing and flossing on a daily basis. These practices help sweep away food particles that can become trapped between teeth, along the gum line, and in the crevices of molars and premolars. Remnants of your last meal can be unsightly and may lead to bad breath, but they can also be destructive when it comes to oral health. People who fail to clean their teeth properly and routinely are much more likely to develop cavities.

Certain dietary and lifestyle choices can also increase your risks of getting a cavity. Eating sweet, sugary, or sticky foods can make you much more likely to develop tooth decay. The same is true for sweetened beverages, including juices, sodas, and sports drinks. If you do enjoy these types of foods, limit them to rare occasions and try to brush as soon as possible after consuming them. Allowing the sugars to linger in your mouth is where the trouble with cavities begins.

When the bacteria found in food particles and plaque are left for too long on the surface of a tooth, they eventually begin to break down the tooth structure, starting with the enamel. In the beginning stages of a cavity, pain and sensitivity are minimal and may not even be noticeable at all. However, if the pain becomes moderate or severe, it is a sign that the decay is progressing and moving inward.

As cavities continue to grow, the bacteria move closer and closer to the nerves of the tooth, resulting in more pain. Over time, severe decay can lead to infections that may require root canals or even tooth extraction. Painful cavities should be evaluated and treated as soon as possible to help restore a patient's quality of life while preventing serious damage, more extensive dental work, or tooth loss.

How can an emergency dentist treat cavities?

There are many ways a dental professional can treat a cavity. The process chosen will depend on the severity of the decay. No matter which option an emergency dentist recommends, there are plenty of ways to keep a patient comfortable and at ease during the entire procedure. Any temporary discomfort is usually minimal, especially when compared to the pain of a serious cavity. Therefore, patients should not let dental anxiety prevent them from getting the treatment they need.


The most common method for treating a cavity is using a dental filling. To begin, the dentist will numb the affected area so the patient stays comfortable throughout the procedure. Next, the decayed tissue is removed with dental appliances. Once all of the damaged tissues and bacteria are removed, the area is cleaned and filled, usually with a composite resin material, to restore the tooth's full and natural shape. Sometimes, a dental light is used to help the filling harden and set more quickly. The dentist may refine and reshape the area to ensure a proper finish and comfortable bite.

Dental crowns

When cavities spread far enough to weaken or affect the overall structure and stability of the natural tooth, a dental crown may be necessary. After numbing the area, the dentist will remove all decay and use tools to grind the tooth down to a smaller shape so that it can accommodate a prosthetic tooth covering. Impressions and images will be taken to ensure the crown is the correct shape, size, and color.

Most crowns are made from porcelain and take a few weeks to complete in a lab. Others can be milled the same day in the office. The dentist may place a temporary crown until the permanent one is ready and can be mounted in place.


Sudden, chronic, or worsening dental pain should always be taken seriously. Many times, it is caused by a case of dental caries. Painful cavities are a sign of serious dental decay and should be treated right away. If your general dentist is unable to see you promptly, an emergency dentist can treat painful cavities with a filling or dental crown. Do not wait to have severe dental pain evaluated; it could be a sign of serious issues and may lead to complications over time.

Request an appointment here: or call Daniel Dentistry at (305) 677-0042 for an appointment in our Miami office.

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