A frog in hot water
There’s an urban legend out there that claims a frog placed in a pan of boiling water will quickly jump out, while a frog placed in a pan of room-temperature water, with the heat then slowly increased, will just sit there until cooked.
While I have my doubts as to the scientific accuracy of this claim, it serves a useful analogy to your teeth. No, I’m not kidding. The key is the difference between an acute attack on a tooth and a chronic attack. An example of an acute attack would be a large piece suddenly breaking off. One second everything’s fine, the next second your tooth is screaming “Ahhhhhh! Fix me!”
On the other hand, an example of a chronic attack would be a slow-growing cavity; this type of attack is sneaky and most often painless, sometimes even when the cavity gets into the nerve and kills it. This happens because the body has a remarkable ability to adapt and avoid pain, for better or worse. The difficulty is that many people believe if something doesn’t hurt it must be OK; unfortunately most dental issues are painless until it’s too late, and then the cost to fix it will typically go up by a factor of ten.
The old medical axiom “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is particularly appropriate to your dental health, and this is the basis of our philosophy of care at McGann Family Dental.