Did you know that approximately 2 billion people worldwide have cavities in their permanent teeth? If left untreated, cavities can cause infections, nutritional problems, and tooth loss.
If you’re unsure of the common signs of cavities, you may risk your overall health. Remember, a cavity could easily be wreaking havoc in your mouth, and you won’t realize the problem until it’s too late.
You’ll need to keep reading to learn about four signs of dental cavities you don’t want to ignore!
1. Tooth Sensitivity
Dental cavities occur when the enamel on your tooth begins to wear away and affects the dentin layer below. Dentin has many tiny microscopic hollow tubes, so when it’s exposed, food particles can affect the nerves inside your tooth.
As a result, you’ll notice sensitivity that lingers after eating hot or cold foods, which typically means you already have a cavity.
On the other hand, if you experience sensitivity to sweet foods or sugary drinks, it’s usually a sign of a cavity starting to form.
2. Tooth Pain
When tooth decay is severe, both the enamel and dentin layer wears away. This erosion often causes cracks or chips in your tooth, eventually exposing your tooth pulp, nerves, and blood vessels.
This can cause severe pain and also increases the chance of a serious infection. If you have tooth pain, you’ll need to see your dentist as soon as possible for cavity treatment.
However, excruciating tooth pain, severe swelling, bleeding, fever, or a tooth abscess are considered a dental emergency. If it’s after regular business hours and you can’t reach your dentist for an emergency appointment, you’ll need to go to the emergency room for tooth pain.
3. Bleeding or Swollen Gums
It’s important to realize that you can get a cavity on any part of your tooth, including cavities that form below the gums, known as gum line cavities.
Gum line cavities typically cause pain and tooth sensitivity, but you may experience bleeding and swollen gums around the affected tooth.
Even if you notice gum swelling and bleeding near your tooth with no other symptoms, it’s essential to see your dentist immediately for an evaluation.
4. A Pit or Hole in Your Tooth
Cavities usually start as a small white spot on your tooth; as they worsen, you can end up with a pit or a hole in your tooth.
Often these holes start in the crevices of your teeth, so you can’t easily see or feel them. As they get larger, the holes become much like a crater in your tooth, and you’ll easily feel the uneven surface with your tongue.
If you notice a hole in your tooth, it’s a definite sign of a cavity, so don’t delay seeing your dentist.
See Your Dentist Right Away if You Have Signs of Cavities
Now you know more about the signs of cavities, you can avoid further tooth problems in the future by addressing a cavity early on.
You can also talk to your dentist about the different causes of cavities and work to get your dental health where it needs to be.
For more health tips, check out our blog for articles that will help you to live a healthier lifestyle!