Do I Have a Cavity?

Tooth decay is a type of dental problem in which natural oral bacteria start to eat away at your enamel, the outer shell of your tooth. Decay will not go away on its own, and it will worsen without prompt intervention from your dentist. If decay creates a hole in the tooth, then it is known as a cavity.

Most people will form at least one cavity at some point. But despite their prevalence, cavities can prove very harmful to your smile. You should prevent serious dental deterioration by treating cavities as soon as you can.

A dentist will check your smile for cavities during a regular check-up. But you can also learn if you have a cavity on your own when you recognize the symptoms. Review three signs that you might have a cavity in your tooth when you read on.

Do I Have a Cavity

Change in Tooth Shape

As mentioned, cavities are a result of oral bacteria wearing a hole into a tooth’s surface. So in many cases, you can know you have a cavity if you can see a visible hole in your tooth.

You can also feel this type of dental damage when you run your tongue across the affected tooth’s surface. It may seem like an indent, broken part, or groove in your tooth.

Treatment for a cavity will include filling that hole with composite resin and polishing it for a smooth, comfortable finish. But if you notice a change in the shape of your tooth, you may want to ask your dentist about the possibility of a cavity.

Dental Discoloration

The appearance of your tooth may change in other ways if you form a cavity, including its color. Tooth decay can present as a brown or black stain on the surface of a tooth.

This dental discoloration can make you feel self-conscious about the look of your smile. But fixing these stains will need more treatment than teeth whitening. Getting rid of a cavity will include enhancing your tooth color. The dental filling can be a beautiful natural color to blend with the rest of your smile.

Tooth Pain

When a cavity damages your tooth enamel, the structural dental damage can result in some pain. The tooth might feel sensitive, for instance, because enamel damage will mean underlying nerves in the tooth become exposed. If an external item touches one of these nerves, it can cause a sharp pain.

The tooth might also ache on a constant basis if it develops a cavity. Tooth pain of any kind is abnormal and should warrant urgent dental attention. But you should not try to tolerate tooth sensitivity or other oral pain.

A cavity can worsen into advanced tooth decay which may make you vulnerable to infections or other serious complications. Prevent that problem by treating cavities promptly. Contact your dentist right away if your teeth hurt because the symptom likely points to a problem with your dental health.