92% of Americans aged 20 to 64 have cavities, so it’s definitely not uncommon. But what’s surprising is, many people fail to realize they even have a cavity, which can lead to bigger oral health problems down the line. Whether you’ve had a cavity before or have perfect teeth, it’s important to recognize tooth problems. That way, you can see a dentist and have them fix it before it becomes a more serious issue.
Below are some major signs you should watch out for that indicate you have a cavity.
Your Tooth’s Sensitive
Has your tooth felt like it’s sensitive out of nowhere? Does it hurt when you eat something cold or hot? Then this can be a sign that you have a cavity.
This is because when bacteria eat away at your tooth, it’ll also eat away the enamel and expose the dentin. Dentin is the sensitive part of your tooth since it stimulates your nerves, which is why cold, hot, and sweet foods/beverages can make your teeth sensitive.
Now, if you have worn-down enamel in general, this can make your teeth more sensitive to extreme temperatures and some sweet foods. So it might not be a cavity that’s causing this issue, although you’ll still want to get it looked at. The enamel protects your teeth and decreases the chance of cavities, so it’s important to preserve it.
Eating and Drinking Are Painful
A major warning sign that you have a cavity is that eating and drinking are painful. This goes beyond sensitivity; when you eat or drink hot or cold foods/beverages, or sweet things, you might feel pain rush through your tooth.
If this happens to you, then you need to see a dentist pronto. If you’ve got a cavity, not only will eating and drinking be painful, but it’ll also make your cavity worse.
There Are Tiny Holes in Your Tooth
The word “cavity” means an empty space, so it makes sense that if you’ve got one in your tooth, it’ll have a tiny hole. This can also happen from chipping, which results from eating something hard or suffering an injury to your face.
If you suspect you have holes or pits in your tooth, try running your tongue over the area. If it doesn’t feel smooth, then it might be a cavity. If it’s sensitive, then that’s another glaring sign that you might have a cavity.
You’ll want a dentist to take a look at it and perform restorative dentistry, which may or may not involve getting a cavity filling.
Your Tooth’s Discolored
With a cavity, not only can there be a hole in your tooth, but there might also be some discoloration. Cavities can appear bright white at first, but then fade to brown or black as they get worse. They’ll also start growing in size as time goes on.
Of course, this can also just be staining from the things you eat or drink. So again, the best thing to do is to have a dentist check it out so you can either get a clean bill of health or get that cavity patched up.
Your Tooth Hurts With Pressure
Maybe your tooth feels fine when you’re just speaking. But when you bite down (such as to eat or to clench your jaw when stressed out), the pressure makes your tooth hurt.
Like with some of the other signs on this list, pain with pressure doesn’t necessarily mean you have a cavity. However, it’s indicative of something that might be wrong, so make sure you have a dentist take a look.
You’ve Got a Toothache
A toothache can come in the later stages of a cavity. Since you won’t usually have one earlier on, a cavity can go unnoticed. But once the toothache settles in, it’ll be hard to ignore.
You’ll most likely be in pain 24/7, no matter what you’re doing. Even if you’re not eating, drinking, or speaking, you’ll feel the toothache, which can range from being dull and throbbing to basically debilitating.
This happens because your tooth becomes inflamed, which can make the dentin more sensitive. This should be a huge sign that you need to seek dental care so you can get some relief!
You’ve Got Bad Breath
Cavities happen because bacteria’s gathered in that area and it’s feeding on leftover food particles. Not only can these decaying food particles smell bad, but so can the bacteria, which will grow in size while it’s feeding.
If you’ve noticed that you consistently have bad breath, it’s possible you have a cavity. It can also be a symptom of gum disease, which can be a separate issue and/or exacerbated by your cavity. You’ll want to see both a dentist and a dental hygienist to take care of both issues.
There’s Pus Near Your Tooth
If you have pus near your tooth, then this is a very bad cavity. This means it’s gotten so serious that you now have an abscess, which can be painful. You might also be feverish and have swollen glands since your body’s having an inflammatory response to fight off infection.
A dentist can drain your abscess and prescribe antibiotics to get you well again.
Let Us Help With Your Tooth Problems
Whether you have a cavity, gum issues, or other tooth problems, it’s important that you see a dentist. They’ll be able to identify the root of your problems and fix t for you.
Your dental health is important, so don’t put it off if you feel like something’s wrong. The best thing to do is to contact a professional like Fermelia Dental so you can get an appointment. That way, you can get your tooth issues taken care of promptly!
If you feel like you have the above signs of a cavity, then get in touch with us today. We’re open Monday through Friday.