A dental restoration to replace a missing tooth or teeth has many benefits. Not only does it improve the appearance of a patient's smile and increase confidence, but it can also prevent other teeth from shifting and causing problems for the person's bite. With recent advances in dentistry, people have more choices than ever for…
Tooth Cavity Warning Signs
A tooth cavity occurs when plaque accumulates around the teeth and generates acids that dissolve the tooth’s enamel, creating a hole in the tooth. A tooth cavity is perhaps the most common dental issue and can cause severe pain and tooth sensitivity. In this article, we discuss some important warning signs that could indicate a tooth cavity.
Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold
If you discover that your teeth are now sensitive to hot or cold drinks or meals, you may have a cavity. This is because the nerves in your teeth have been exposed. Sensitivity to hotness or coldness is usually the first sign, and you should talk to your dentist immediately.
Sensitivity to sweets
Extreme temperature is not the only trigger of tooth sensitivity. Sometimes, you may feel a minor or sharp pain after drinking or eating sugary foods. Sensitivity to sweets is a vital sign that you should not ignore.
Visible hole in the tooth
This is the most obvious sign of a tooth cavity. Tooth decay causes holes on the tooth, and these holes or crevices will trap food debris until they accumulate. This debris is usually hard to remove through regular brushing or flossing.
Chipped or cracked teeth
As tooth decay progresses down from the enamel to the dentin layer and inner tooth pulp, the nerves suffer necrosis that will discolor the tooth to black and make the tooth more susceptible to breakage or chipping.
Discomfort when chewing
When cavities worsen to the interior layer of the tooth, it becomes unbearable to eat with the tooth. The pain may cause you to chew with other teeth to prevent pain during meals.
Bad breath is sometimes a sign of a tooth cavity. If the cavity is trapping food bits, the debris will smell bad and cause bad breath.
Bleeding during brushing
If the cavity occurs between the teeth, you may experience bleeding anytime you brush. Usually, gum tissues will form into the hole caused by the cavity, and brushing will damage the gum and cause bleeding.
Once a cavity reaches the inner pulp of the tooth, it will get into the surrounding bone tissues, causing painful swelling, pus and gum infections.
One of the early warning signs of a cavity is the presence of black, brown or white stains on the teeth’s surface. White spots form when minerals are missing from the tooth. When decay worsens and starts to degrade and damage the tooth’s structure, brown and black spots will appear.
Tooth shifts or spacing
If a tooth cavity is neglected, the teeth will start to shift. In severe cases, you may discover spaces that were never there before.
That is not all
In some cases, a small cavity may be present, and you may not experience any of the warning signs. Symptomless cavities are worse because they worsen before you get treatment. This best way to protect your teeth against such cavities is to go for regular checkups.
During your dental visit, the dentist will perform a physical examination or x-ray scan to diagnose the presence of dental cavities. Left untreated, cavities may worsen to the point where a root canal or tooth removal may be the only alternatives to save the teeth.
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