How to Tell If You Have a Cavity: Understanding the Warnings Signs

How to Tell If You Have a Cavity: The Warnings Signs

How to Tell If You Have a Cavity

Cavities are very common, in fact, it is estimated that approximately 90% of adults have them. Further, about 25% of those adults have cavities that have not been diagnosed or treated. There’s a good chance that someone can have a cavity without knowing about it.

When left untreated, cavities can lead to serious health issues, not to mention a lot of pain. Prevention is certainly the best strategy when it comes to healthy gums and teeth. Here are some warnings signs you should understand to monitor your oral health for cavities.

How to Tell If You Have a Cavity: The Warnings Signs1. You Experience Temperature Sensitivity

One of the most frequent symptoms that patients report when they have a cavity is sensitivity to changes in temperature. You may experience pain or discomfort when you eat or drink something hot or cold.

The sensitivity is due to worn-down dentin, which is a layer of tissue below the tooth enamel. When your teeth wear down, the dentin becomes exposed. As it makes contact with hot or cold foods or drinks, the nerves in your teeth are stimulated causing pain or sensitivity.

The sensation may last only for seconds or may extend to minutes, depending on the condition of the tooth. It is a problem that makes it hard to enjoy your favorite foods or drinks and it is a symptom you don’t need to bare.

2. Tooth Discoloration

Another symptom of a cavity is when your tooth changes color. Tooth decay can cause dark spots on your teeth. You may notice the discoloration change in size. Sometimes, the discoloration can be brown, black, light, or even an off-white color. Tooth discoloration may indicate that a cavity has advanced. You can monitor the size of the discoloration for changes over time.

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If you notice any changes in tooth color, it is best to get diagnosed by a dentist immediately to prevent further tooth decay. At Carolina Dental Arts, we have state-of-the-art equipment that helps us detect and diagnose dental problems quickly and accurately. We provide each patient with a comprehensive checkup to ensure the best care. Additionally, we aim to treat cavities immediately to prevent further tooth decay or loss.

3. Mild or Extreme Dental Pain

One of the classic signs that your teeth are at risk is feeling pain. Whether the pain is mild or extreme, it is an indication that your teeth may be compromised. The sensation can range from infrequent and dull, to frequent and debilitating.

Perhaps you experience a random episode of pain with or without food. The pain may travel to your entire mouth, extend to other teeth, or get worse when you take a bite. The pain is a result of inflammation surrounding the tooth that has a cavity. Any type of pain anywhere in the body is usually a sign that something needs attention. Therefore, never ignore it or mask it with painkillers without knowing the cause.

4. Strange Taste or Bad Breath

If you start to experience a strange taste in your mouth or you feel like you have bad breath despite good hygiene, you may have a cavity. A tooth with a cavity accumulates bacteria around it. This bacteria produces waste that is often associated with a foul odor.

The odor from a cavity lingers in your mouth and it is very hard to hide. Others may notice it by simply being near you as when you give a hug. It may become an embarrassing situation that requires prompt care.

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5. Gums Are Bleeding or Swollen

Cavities manifest differently, which means you can’t rely on one set of symptoms. Some cavities settle along the gum line and affect the surrounding tissues. If your gums look red, swollen, or irritated in any way, there may be a problem with the teeth surrounding the affected tissue.

A good way to assess this symptom is when you brush and floss your teeth. If your gums start to bleed, it is a sign that an urgent dental appointment is required. Besides being caused by a cavity, the symptoms may also be due to having a case of gingivitis. They are both issues that require immediate dental care.

6. Tooth Has a Hole or Changes in Structure

Untreated tooth discoloration develops into a hole or other type of structural change. When tooth decay becomes worse, you can expect to eventually see a hole appear in your tooth. You may be able to feel it with your tongue or see it in the mirror. However, some cavities are located where you cannot detect them.

Holes in your teeth must be filled immediately to prevent a larger cavity from forming.

7. Pockets of Pus

If you notice any type of pus coming from the gum line, it is a sign that a cavity is well-advanced. This type of infection is a dental urgency that has to be treated right away. The pocket of pus can become an abscess as it advances and can lead to serious health issues.

Apart from the urgency of these symptoms, it can cause an extreme amount of pain. In addition, it can also cause fever and swollen glands. In this type of case, you may need to do an antibiotic treatment in addition to fixing the cavity.

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An abscess can spread around the mouth and can even lead to a systemic infection. It is a very serious symptom that your dentist needs to address immediately.

8. There Are No Signs

Not all cavities present with symptoms. Sometimes, a person may experience no signs at all, especially when the cavity is just beginning. Because you may have a cavity without symptoms, it is essential to keep up with regular dental checkups.

Only a professional dental team with proper diagnostic tools will be able to assess the condition of your teeth.

Stay Free of Cavities With Carolina Dental Arts

At Carolina Dental Arts in Raleigh, our team is experienced in helping patients prevent cavities. When we diagnose cavities, our protocol is to provide treatment options immediately before tooth decay advances. We focus on patient education to ensure you have the best chance at achieving and maintaining excellent oral health.

We proudly serve Raleigh, New Bern Ave, Goldsboro, Durham, and surrounding areas. Call Carolina Dental Arts today and enjoy a healthy smile for years to come!

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