How Do I Know If I Have a Cavity?

A dental cavity is a damaged area on the tooth's hard surface that develops into tiny holes. Also called dental caries or tooth decay, cavities are due to poor oral hygiene and other factors. If not treated, cavities become larger, affecting the deeper layers of the teeth. Accumulation of bacteria in the mouth, too much sugar consumption, and frequent snacking can lead to cavities. 



Developing a Cavity 


Cavities are common health problems, especially among children, teenagers, and senior adults, but they can affect anyone, including infants. The buildup of food and bacteria on the teeth forms plaque that can erode the tooth enamel. 


Cavities lead to severe toothaches, oral infections, and tooth loss. Good oral hygiene, which involves daily brushing and flossing and regular dental visits can help to prevent cavities. Protecting your teeth is a vital part of overall health. It can help to prevent life-threatening health complications. 



Experiencing Temperature Sensitivity


If you suffer from lingering sensitivity after consuming cold or hot food or drinks, it may be due to a cavity. As the tooth enamel starts to wear away, it affects the hard tissue layer below, known as the dentin. 


The dentin contains hollow microscopic tubes, and the nerves are susceptible. The enamel helps to protect the dentin. When it is eroded, cold or hot foods can stimulate the nerves and cells inside the tooth, causing sensitivity. 



Lingering Sensitivity to Sugars 


Just like temperature sensitivity, a reaction to sweet or sugary foods and drinks can be due to a cavity. If you experience lingering discomfort after drinking sugary drinks or eating sweets, it could indicate damage to the enamel. It is an early sign of a cavity. The pain ranges from mild to sharp, depending on the size of the cavity. 



Persistent Toothache 


Pain is the most common symptom of a cavity. The pain can happen without apparent cause or after eating. It often includes discomfort in or around the mouth. You may also experience pressure or pain when you bite or chew. A persistent or ongoing toothache can indicate that your tooth has a cavity. Sudden pain can indicate severe tooth damage. 



Stains on the Tooth Surface 


White or dark stains on the tooth surface can be signs of cavities. White stains are usually the early signs of cavities. As the problems advance, the stains usually darken. Brown or black stains can indicate you have severe tooth decay. 



A Visible Hole in the Tooth


White spots on the tooth surface usually develop into holes or pits. You can see a cavity hole when you look in the mirror, or you can feel it with your tongue. Some holes may not be visible as they appear in crevices or between the teeth. When holes are hidden, you may experience sensitivity or pain in the area. 


If you experience dental pain or other signs of a cavity, visit a dentist immediately. The dentist will recommend treatment based on the stage, location, and size of the cavity. Treatments include dental fillings and root canals. Scheduling regular dental visits will help to detect early signs of cavities and other dental problems. 


For more on how to know if you have a cavity, visit Concierge Smile Boutique at our office in Culver City, California. Call (424) 404-6400 or text 424-361-6272 to book an appointment today.