7 Common Signs that You May Have a Cavity

Dental hygiene is one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Over 90% of Americans will have a cavity in their lifetime. Due to that fact we wanted to showcase 7 common signs that you may have a cavity. If you are feeling one of these 7 signs make sure to set up a meeting with your dentist as not getting treatment could lead to more.

Chewing or biting down is painful.

Did you know that your dental enamel is the strongest substance in your body? This allows your teeth to withstand the endless wear and tear that comes with eating, chewing, and speaking. Therefore, if you’re experiencing pain while chewing or biting down, it is a pretty strong indicator that something is amiss. For example, it could be a sign that you have a cavity or a crack in your tooth, or it could indicate infection or inflammation that has reached the nerve. Either way, make sure that you visit the dentist as soon as possible to get some relief.

Visible Discoloration or Dark Spots

Dark spots are a sign of long-term, untreated cavities. These are more likely to appear first on your tooth before holes will. When you have dark spots on your tooth, this means the bacteria are already eating their way through the enamel on your tooth. If you see dark spots on your tooth, you should get it treated right away.

Teeth are Sensitive to Hot or Cold

Sensitive teeth are often a separate issue that some people experience when they eat or drink certain foods, or foods are a certain temperature (like very hot, or very cold). If you have a cavity, there is an increased chance that you will experience sensitivity. 

Sensitivity occurs because the teeth become hypersensitive to bacteria and other types of external stimuli that erode your tooth’s enamel. When the enamel erodes, the nerves in your tooth are more exposed, allowing them to come into direct contact with the food and drinks you are putting in your mouth, and you will feel it. 

If you are experiencing sensitivity in a specific area of your mouth, on a specific tooth, have more sensitivity than usual, or have not had sensitive teeth before, but do now you should talk to your dentist, as this can be a sign of a cavity.

Holes or Craters on Teeth

The bacteria that are present in a cavity eventually eat into the tooth, causing small holes and pits in the enamel. These holes are a sign that a cavity has formed and you most likely need a filling. The decay can easily be removed and the new filling will fill in the hole that is currently visible.

Bad Breath and Unpleasant Taste

Cavities on the tooth are packed with bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and halitosis (bad breath). The accumulation of bacteria can make it harder to get fresh breath, even with you brush your teeth or use mouthwash. 

If your bad breath is not going away under normal conditions, this is a major sign that you have a cavity and should make an appointment with your dentist. The sooner you address it, the sooner it can be resolved and the less likely it will develop into a serious issue.

Overall Pain and Discomfort 

If you are feeling long-term pain in a tooth. The tooth that has a cavity may be causing you pain. You may find it difficult to bite down without sharp, shocking pain. Other patients find it difficult to brush or floss certain areas because of pain or sensitivity. This is caused by the dentin being exposed and affecting the inner nerve of the tooth.

Swelling or Bleeding Gums

When the cavity is near the gum line, the infection of the tooth can have an impact on the surrounding soft tissue. This can result in bleeding or swollen gums, especially when brushing or flossing. Bleeding gums can also be a sign of gingivitis, so a trip to the dental office is warranted.

What Happens When You Ignore Cavities?

Your cavity won’t go away. Cavities only get worse over time, so the longer you go without having them filled, the more serious they become and the more likely they are to cause serious oral and overall health problems. If left untreated, cavities can cause:

  • Sensitivity, discomfort, and pain that can inhibit you from eating or drinking properly
  • Abscess to form on the affected tooth
  • Infection that can travel to other parts of your body
  • Removal of the tooth if the damage is too extensive

Woodland Family Dental is one of Duluth, Minnesota’s top family dental offices. with over 50 five-star reviews on Google and Facebook, our team makes it our mission to provide the best dentistry for anyone that needs it. Our experienced team of dentists offers a wide array of dental services including general cleaningscosmetic dentistry, and dental implants. Woodland Family Dental is here to help you with your dental needs. Not to mention our great location on Miller Trunk Highway right next to the mall in Duluth, Minnesota. Woodland Family Dental cares about helping our patients and accepts almost all insurances. Set up an appointment today and see why so many families love us. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date, get more tips, and learn about what our team is up to.

Thanks for reading 7 common signs that you may have a cavity

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