4 Ways to Tell That You Have a Cavity

Cavities are so common that you’ve probably had at least one in your life. But how can you tell if you have a new cavity developing? There are some key signs and symptoms that indicate a cavity is forming. Read on to learn about what to watch out for, so you can get dental care and fill any new cavities right away.

1. Tooth Pain

The most obvious sign of a cavity is tooth pain. You may notice pain or sensitivity when eating or drinking something hot, cold, or sweet. The pain stems from irritation in the tooth’s inner layers caused by the cavity. As the decay gets closer to the inner pulp and nerves of your tooth, you may feel more intense pain. While toothaches aren’t always from cavities, consistent pain when eating or drinking is a major red flag.

2. Discolored Spots

Take a look at your teeth in the mirror. Do you notice any discolored spots or pits on the tooth enamel? This can visually signal a cavity is forming. Cavities create weakened spots in the enamel that can appear darkened or discolored. The spots may be white, brown, black, or even hole-like. The earlier you detect discoloration or texture changes, the better chance you have to remineralize it before a full cavity develops.

3. Bad Breath

While we all have bad breath sometimes, noticeably bad breath that lingers can indicate an oral health issue like a cavity. The bacteria in cavities release gases, creating bad odors. If brushing, flossing, and mouthwash don’t solve bad breath, untreated cavities may be the issue. You’ll get relief from the bad breath when you take care of the cavity.

4. Visible Holes

You may actually see a visible hole in your tooth if you have a severely neglected cavity. The decay can eat through the enamel and create a hole or opening you can see. This means the cavity has advanced significantly, and you may need a full coverage crown versus a small filling. A hole or opening in your tooth may put you at risk for infection or discomfort.

Be on the lookout for tooth pain, discolored spots, lingering bad breath, and visible holes. These are telltale signs you may have a cavity. Stay vigilant about your dental care routine and contact your dentist if you notice any of these warning signs. According to Colgate, people with high-risk factors, including diabetics or smokers, should visit the dentist more frequently than every six months. Call us today at Phillips & Schmitt to schedule a dental care appointment if you have any of these cavity warning signs.

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