warning signs

Signs and Symptoms of a Dental Cavity

July 31st, 2014

Signs and symptoms of a dental cavityCavities are a major concern of any mouth, but it can be hard to know if you have one or not without a trip to the dentist. Luckily there are plenty of signs and symptoms that can help indicate that you might have a cavity in your mouth.
A cavity is a hole on the exterior of your tooth due to the breakdown of your enamel (the outer covering of your tooth). Enamel breakdown is caused by a build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth. Once enamel is broken down, the tartar is able to slowly eat away at the tooth. Here are signs that you might be developing a cavity, or have one already.

Sensitive Teeth

The most obvious sign is highly sensitive teeth. If hot or cold temperatures irritate your teeth, this is a sign of enamel being worn down. Often, it may be a specific area of sensitivity that can indicate exactly where a cavity might be.

Food Stuck In Your Teeth

We all can get food stuck in our teeth. But, if you’re noticing a frequent occurrence of food sticking in your teeth, this can signify a bigger problem. Also, note how the food is sticking in your teeth. If you notice food often getting stuck at the top of your teeth, in areas that don’t normally get food stuck in them, there is a good chance a cavity is forming.

Opaque or Chalky Spots on the Teeth

When mineral loss occurs on the surface of your teeth, you will notice a change in color. This is one of the best ways to detect early signs of a cavity.

Difficulty Chewing with Certain Teeth

You may notice certain areas of your mouth where it is harder to chew, especially if the foods are high in sugar or are acidic. When tooth decay and cavities form, the innermost areas of the tooth, including blood vessels and nerves (this is known as the pulp) become exposed. These are highly sensitive areas that will cause pain if reached.

Bad Breath

If you practice daily oral hygiene, but notice your breath is still bad, you may have a cavity. Food and bacteria gathering in the crevices of decaying teeth and cavities can cause bad breath. If that is the case, your breath can continue to smell bad even after brushing and flossing.

New Gaps Between your Teeth

If cavities go untreated for a long time, you may start to notice gaps in your front teeth. This is because your tooth has left enough space in your mouth for your teeth to shift.

Swelling in the Gums

When a cavity reaches the pulp of the tooth, your gums will begin to swell and puss will form. This is the most serious sign that you are having an oral issue, and you should immediately seek dental assistance.
If you are experiencing any number of these symptoms, we recommend contacting Water Tower Dental to help assist you. We can fill your cavity, help remove tartar and plaque from your teeth, and help you get on the right track to have a bright and shining smile for years to come.