Dentists always warn their patients of the dangers of tooth decay and cavities, but what are they exactly? A cavity is formed in your tooth due to plaque and bacteria build-up. Cavities can cause pain and discomfort and, if left untreated, can lead to more serious dental problems. If you face any common symptoms or signs of a tooth cavity, it’s essential to visit a dentist. This article will help you understand the signs and symptoms of cavities and how to prevent them from forming.
Tooth decay causes cavities. The damaged areas on your teeth’s hard surface, which gradually develop into tiny holes or openings, are cavities. There are various reasons, including sipping sugary drinks, bacteria in your mouth, not cleaning your teeth properly, and frequent snacking.
Tooth decay and cavities are common health issues for everyone and can affect every individual with teeth, including toddlers.
Cavities affect deeper layers and get bigger if left untreated, leading to infection, toothache, and tooth loss. The best protection against cavities is brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits.
Symptoms of cavities
A routine dental exam can detect cavities. Sometimes, a dental x-ray is needed to confirm tooth decay or identify any cavity signs that are hard to spot. Cavities are formed on any side or area of a tooth and are most common on the back of the teeth as it is difficult to clean that part of the teeth.
Below mentioned are some common symptoms and signs of cavities:
Unpleasant taste and bad breath
A bacterial infection causes cavities. In addition, the bacteria in the mouth produce waste, contributing to unpleasant taste and bad breath. If you notice constant bad breath, then it is time to schedule a dental check-up.
Dark Spots or Discoloration
As the cavity develops, it causes dark spots on the tooth’s surface. It looks like staining, and we usually assume it is tooth discoloration. Over a period, these stains get darker and more prominent resulting in tooth decay. Cavities can look like white spots on the tooth in a few cases.
Sensitivity to cold or hot
As tooth decay continues to penetrate the tooth, the dentin gets exposed. Dentin is one of the four major parts of your tooth’s root and can cause more issues with sensitivity as it is more porous. As a result, teeth become more sensitive, and whenever you drink anything cold or hot, you get a sharp pain in one tooth. It is a sign of a cavity.
Craters or holes on your teeth
The bacteria that cause cavities start eating your tooth, causing craters, pits, and holes in the enamel. These holes need a filling to prevent more damage. A dentist will quickly remove the bacteria and do the packing.
Bleeding and swelling on gums
Cavities can badly impact the adjacent soft tissues. For example, a cavity close to the gum line can cause bleeding and swelling on gums while brushing or flossing.
Discomfort or pain
A cavity causes toothaches. It will be tough to bite as you may get a sharp pain in your tooth. For some people brushing and flossing specific areas can be difficult due to sensitivity or pain. It happens when the dentin is exposed and the tooth’s inner nerve is affected.
Be aware there can be no symptoms if the cavity is small and can only be detected in dental check-ups, making it difficult to receive treatment on time. Annual dental check-ups will nip cavities in the bud.
What causes cavities?
Preventing cavities can avoid the need for invasive procedures. Below mentioned are some common causes of cavities:
- Eating before bed and constant snacking
- Improper oral hygiene
- Drinking beverages that have sugar
- Insufficient fluoridation
- Infant feeding at bedtime
- Acid indigestion
- Loose or damaged dental restoration procedure
- Dry mouth
Cavities are a common dental concern that can cause significant pain and discomfort if left untreated. This blog post has outlined seven common symptoms and signs of a tooth cavity, so you are better informed about what to look for in terms of your oral health. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Cavities can be treated relatively easily if caught early on. Still, they can also lead to more serious dental problems if left untreated. Thanks for reading!