How to Know if You Have a Cavity

The earlier you find a cavity, the easier it is to fix the problem. Unfortunately, cavity signs and symptoms often don’t show up until the decay site worsens. So, how do you know if you have a cavity? First, let’s explore cavities, then we’ll share the seven early signs that should trigger a trip to your dentist.

First, did you know that your mouth is the first part of your digestive tract? Your teeth crush food, breaking it down into smaller pieces. Then your saliva moistens the food, beginning the process of chemical digestion. Your mouth also houses good bacteria, which keep harmful bacteria in check. 

Still, you need to do your part to help. That’s why here at Peace Haven Family Dentistry, we educate our patients on oral health. And brushing and flossing are both crucial to maintaining a healthy mouth. Remember, there’s a big difference between health and beauty—cavity vs. stain. Sure, brushing and flossing help keep stains at bay, so you have nice white teeth. But white doesn’t always mean healthy.

Cavity Causes

You know that coating you feel in your mouth when you wake up in the morning? That film appears when food and bacteria build up on your teeth, forming plaque, a sticky film that scientists call biofilm. Why? Because it contains a community of live microbes surrounded by a layer of gluey polymer. This sticky substance allows microbes to attach to surfaces in your mouth and multiply into thriving colonies.

Cavity Stages and Risk Factors

What happens if you have a cavity for too long? Let’s take a look at the stages of a cavity.

  1. Plaque builds up your teeth.
  2. Bacteria in the plaque produce acids that can erode your tooth’s surface enamel.
  3. As bacteria acids eat away at your tooth, a cavity forms on your tooth’s surface.
  4. Over time, the cavity gets bigger and turns into a hole.
  5. Untreated, a cavity can cause a tooth abscess or infection that gets into your bloodstream, causing a potentially life-threatening situation.

Some areas in your mouth are more susceptible to accumulating plaque.

  • Molar chewing surfaces
  • Surfaces between teeth
  • Bottom of teeth near the gumline

Types of Cavities

Cavities are not limited to the chewing surfaces of your molars. They can show up just about anywhere. Can you get a cavity under a filling? Yes, you can. . .and several other places too!

  • Cavity on front tooth
  • Cavity between teeth
  • Cavity in molar
  • Cavity in wisdom tooth
  • Cavity at gum line
  • Cavity in baby tooth
  • Cavity with braces
  • Cavity near nerve
  • Cavity near root of tooth
  • Cavity with veneers
  • Cavity with Invisalign
  • Cavity under a filling or crown

“Do I have a cavity or sensitive teeth?”
That’s a great question. To find out Book a consultation TODAY!

Cavity Symptoms

Several signs could indicate the start of a cavity. And some red flags could tell you that a cavity is getting bigger. These are five of the most common cavity signs.

  1. Hot and cold sensitivity
  2. Sensitivity to sweets
  3. Toothache
  4. Tooth stains
  5. A pit or hole in your tooth

Cavity Treatment & Prevention

If you’re experiencing toothache pain that does not go away it’s time to see your dentist. Cavity removal consists of drilling to remove the decay and filling the hole with a substance like composite or silver amalgam.

Of course, your best line of defense against cavities is regular dental visits. Cleanings and fluoride treatment can remove plaque buildup and strengthen your tooth enamel, which makes your teeth more resistant to acid. 

Is it time for a cleaning? Book an appointment TODAY!

Houston Symmes

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