The health of your teeth is the key to your overall health. Preventing cavities is one of the most important ways to keep your teeth in good condition and prevent further complications.
Untreated cavities can destroy your teeth and eventually create more serious problems. That's why it's helpful to know the signs of a cavity and to see your dentist as soon as possible if you think you might have one.
Sensitivity to hot and cold
Sensitivity that persists after eating hot or cold foods may be a sign that you have a cavity.
When your tooth enamel starts to wear away, it can affect the dentin, which is the layer of hard tissue underneath the enamel. Dentin contains many small, microscopic hollow tubes.
When there is not enough enamel to protect the dentin, hot, cold, sticky or acidic foods can stimulate the cells and nerves inside your tooth. This is what creates the sensitivity you feel.
Persistent sensitivity to sweets
Although hot and cold are the most common sensitivities when you have a cavity, persistent sensitivity to sweets and sugary drinks can also indicate tooth decay.
Similar to temperature sensitivity, persistent candy discomfort is often the result of enamel damage and, more specifically, the beginning of a cavity.
Persistent pain in one or more of your teeth may indicate a cavity. In fact, pain is one of the most common symptoms of a cavity.
Sometimes this pain can come on suddenly or from something you eat. This includes pain and discomfort in or around your mouth. You may also feel pain and pressure when you bite on food.
A hole or stain on your tooth
If the white stain on your tooth (indicating the beginning of a cavity) gets worse, you will end up with a hole in your tooth that you may be able to see when you look in the mirror or feel when you run your tongue over the surface of your teeth.
Some holes, especially those between your teeth or in crevices, cannot be seen or felt. But you may still feel pain or tenderness in the cavity area.
If you notice a hole or pit in your tooth, make an appointment with your dentist. This is a clear sign that you have tooth decay.
When to see a dentist
If you are concerned about possible cavities, it is time to make an appointment with your dentist.
A toothache that won't go away or stains on your teeth are also reasons to visit your dentist.
In addition, seeing the dentist regularly every 6 months and having regular x-rays is one of the best ways to prevent cavities or to prevent existing cavities from developing into bigger problems.