A cavity in a tooth is a hole that develops when a tooth decays. The hole can grow bigger and deeper over time, so it’s important to get it repaired before more damage to the tooth (or your mouth) occurs. Cavities are caused by plaque, a sticky, slimy substance that clings to teeth. The germs in plaque can hold onto the acid made by mouth bacteria, and this acid eats away at the outer layer of the tooth – the enamel.
So how do you know if you have a cavity? Here are the top three signs that you may have a cavity:
While it’s common for small toothaches to occur here and there (especially if you have sensitive teeth), consistent, nagging pain may be a sign that you have a cavity. It’s understandable that a tooth will hurt if the tooth is beginning to decay, so take consistent tooth pain that doesn’t let up after a few days as a sign to see your dentist.
2. DARK SPOTS.
It will likely be pretty hard to see the actual cavity, but if you really get up close to the mirror and look at your teeth, you may notice some spots on your teeth that look darker than others. This happens in particular between teeth, where cavities often form. Keep a look our for the beginnings or a hole or pit in a tooth by examining your teeth for dark spots. If you see a cavity, chances are that you’ve had it for a while and it needs immediate attention from a dentist.
Are you cringing when you take a sip of coffee in the morning, or wincing in pain when you eat ice cream in the evening? You may have a cavity. The enamel of your teeth protects your nerves from direct contact with hot and cold foods and beverages. When the enamel starts to wear down, you’ll feel hot and cold in extremes. If you notice you are suddenly very sensitive to hot or cold – see your dentist!
While these three signs are good indicators that you may have a cavity, don’t rely on self-detection alone! If you have a suspicion that a cavity is forming, schedule an appointment with your dentist in order to get the final say and plan for a filling if necessary.