7 Proven Ways How to Tell If You Have a Cavity
Cavities are one of the most common tooth problems that people of all ages face. It’s reported that 170 children a day in the U.K. have teeth extracted due to excessive sugar that causes tooth decay.
Undetected, these tiny holes and narrow crevices can cause infections. And if they are left untreated, they can lead to tooth loss and cost much more money to repair or replace.
If you’ve never had a cavity, you might not know how to recognise one. That’s why it’s essential to know when you have a cavity to prevent it from becoming worse.
You don’t want your cavity to turn into a root canal or an extraction which may require a crown or a dental implant.
Here’s how to tell if you have a cavity.
How To Tell If You Have A Cavity–Before It Gets Worse
As cavities form on your teeth, they eat away at your tooth enamel until they reach what’s called dentin.
Bacteria then eats the dentin until the bacteria reacher the blood vessels and nerves in the middle of your tooth. This is called the pulp.
From the pulp, bacteria can spread to other areas in the mouth if you wait too long to treat a cavity. The bacteria attacks more tooth tissue the longer you wait to take care of a cavity.
A good way to prevent this from happening is to know how to detect when you have a cavity.
Here are seven cavity symptoms to watch out for.
1. Tooth Pain
Typically, you will have pain when you have a cavity that’s been untreated.
If you get a toothache, it’s time to see the dentist. Don’t put it off. In the early stages of cavities, you might feel pain when you bite down on something you eat like a piece of candy.
In time, you begin to experience tooth pain when you chew on something soft, and when it progresses further, you will experience consistent tooth pain.
2. Tooth Sensitivity
A less obvious sign of a cavity is tooth sensitivity. Sensitive teeth often resemble a cavity. It will feel like a tingle or tickle in your teeth at certain times.
Your teeth feel sensitive due to bacteria that is thinning down your tooth enamel. Enamel protects the nerves in the teeth.
When bacteria begin to eat through the layer of enamel, your nerves will make your teeth feel sensitive.
In the early stages, your tooth becomes sensitive when you’re eating something hot or cold, acidic or sugary. At other times, it might not feel sensitive.
If your teeth feel sensitive, use a sensitive toothpaste. Some people do have sensitive teeth and you might be one of them.
But if the sensitive toothpaste doesn’t alleviate the problem, you probably have a cavity and need to visit your dentist.
3. Holes in Your Teeth
If you can see a hole in your tooth, your cavity has progressed. You will most likely need several fillings or possibly a root canal if you have contracted an infection in your tooth and the tooth becomes an abscess.
If you spot a hole on top of the tooth, run your tongue over it. If you feel a hole, it’s probably a cavity.
When looking for a hole in your teeth, it’s easier to see the bottom teeth in the mirror. Get a dental mirror to help you check your top teeth.
If you see a hole anywhere, don’t wait. See a dental professional to clean the bacteria and fill your tooth or fit you for a crown.
4. Dark Spots On Your Tooth
When a cavity has not been treated for a long interval of time, it is easy to see. It will look like a dark spot has formed on the infected tooth. If your tooth is discolored you might have a cavity.
A dark spot appears on your tooth before holes form on your tooth. There could be a hole there that you cannot see.
Instead, a dark spot, usually gray, brown or black. If you see this spot, bacteria has begun to make its way into your enamel. Seeing a dark spot is a sure way how to know if you have a cavity.
5. Halitosis (Bad Breath)
As your tooth decays bacteria spreads and penetrates the tooth. This leads to bad breath, also called halitosis. This same bacteria that makes a cavity causes bad breath.
If enough bacteria has entered your mouth to cause a cavity, you’ll contract bad breath. You might notice it when you brush your teeth or your tongue. You’re also likely to have a bad taste in your mouth.
If you have halitosis, visit a dental professional. You might have a bad cavity. The sooner you address it, the sooner you can fix it and the less money your dental treatment will cost you.
Pus indicates a serious problem caused by a cavity. The cavity has turned into an abscess.
An abscess can cause extreme pain, a fever and even make your glands swell. Tend to pus immediately. It should not be ignored or overlooked.
Your dentist can help stop the pus and to prevent the abscess from getting worse by prescribing an antibiotic.
An antibiotic can kill the bacteria that has spread through your tooth. It can also prevent it from spreading through other nearby areas of your mouth.
7. Chips Or Broken Tooth
If you have a chip in your tooth or your tooth has a larger break, you might have a cavity. This can happen when you might down on something hard or eat something chewy like a piece of candy.
If your tooth is chipped or broken, your cavity needs to be treated before it breaks the rest of the tooth.
At worst, when bacteria causes a tooth to break too much, it may not be able to be saved. You may need to have an extraction at worst.
Final Words On How To Tell If You Have A Cavity
Now you know the signs and how to tell if you have a cavity. If you recognise any of the warning signs, visit a dentist right away.
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