Are there cavities hiding out in your mouth? How do you know when you have a cavity? The truth is, tooth decay may or may not produce symptoms, but it helps to know what those symptoms are so you can act quickly to minimize the damage cavities can cause. If you let cavities go, they can destroy a tooth or cause infections that require tooth extraction.
Cavities usually show up as one of three main symptoms: Toothache, pain when chewing, and visible stains or holes in teeth. Sometimes, cavities don’t have any of these symptoms. Other times, tooth decay symptoms include tooth sensitivity and mild pain. Let’s review what cavities might feel like, what you should do if you think you have a cavity, and how you can prevent cavities.
Even though it doesn’t always indicate tooth decay, a toothache is a sure sign that something is wrong. Persistent pain in a tooth should be addressed. The pain could indicate a cavity or an infection, which can both become serious conditions. It is easier to get a cavity filled when it is small, so the sooner, the better! Make an appointment at Uptown Dental when you feel pain, and especially if the pain persists for days or weeks.
Pain when you are chewing can also indicate a cavity. This could be a mild or sharp pain when you eat a sweet dessert or candy. Sharp pain when drinking hot or cold beverages should also be addressed. While this might indicate common tooth sensitivity, you will benefit from talking with your dentist about it. Certain toothpastes are very effective in treating tooth sensitivity while preventing cavities.
Finally, if you see something unusual on your tooth, such as a hole or new staining on the surface, it may be a sign of a cavity starting to form. Stains may be brown, black, or white, and small holes can form on or between teeth. If you can see a change to a tooth, make sure to let your dentist know.
Other possible symptoms of tooth decay include bad breath and a bad taste in your mouth. The bad odors come from the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.
If You Think You Have a Cavity
First of all, remember that tooth pain is not normal. Sensitive teeth are one thing that many people deal with, but any sharp pain or even mild pain related to teeth should be addressed as soon as possible. You will know the difference when you feel it! Any persistent toothache or pain when biting down should get checked out by a dentist.
If you see visible changes in your teeth, such as holes, dark spots, white spots or other staining, make sure to tell your dentist at your next appointment. At Uptown Dental, we take your concerns seriously and will examine your teeth for any issues. A stain may be just a stain, but it may also be a cavity. We have the tools to explore what’s going on under the surface of the tooth.
If cavities are found through exams and x-rays, we will fill the cavity. Getting a filling takes about a half hour. The dentist will anesthetize the area, remove the damaged tooth areas, and fill those areas with material to seal and protect the remaining tooth tissue.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay
The upside of cavities is that we know they can be prevented. With proper care of your teeth using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash products as well as regular flossing and dental visits, you can strengthen your teeth, making them less prone to tooth decay.
We collected three of our past blog posts to help you prevent cavity formation.
- The Benefits of Fluoride
- Looking for ways you can further improve your dental hygiene routine to preserve your smile? Get our comprehensive guide to oral health here.
- For a quick review of dental hygiene tips, check this out.
When it comes to tooth decay and cavities, knowing the signs and symptoms will help keep toothaches and further tooth and gum problems at bay. Be sure to address tooth pain and maintain a regular schedule of dental care and visits to your dentist. When you take care of your smile, you’ll be smiling even more knowing that you don’t have tooth decay!