Cavities, or dental caries, are one of the most common oral health issues worldwide. They occur when the bacteria in your mouth convert sugars from food into acids, which then attack the enamel, the outermost layer of your teeth. Over time, these acid attacks can cause the enamel to break down, forming holes known as cavities. But how can you tell if you have a cavity? Let’s explore some of the signs.
How Do I Know If I Have A Cavity?
1. Toothache or Tooth Sensitivity
One of the most common symptoms of a cavity is a toothache or increased sensitivity in one or more of your teeth. The discomfort can be spontaneous, or it may be triggered by eating or drinking something hot, cold, sweet, or sour. It may range from mild to severe and may come and go or be constant.
2. Visible Holes or Pits in Your Teeth
In some cases, if a cavity has progressed enough, you might be able to see the hole or pit in your tooth when you look in the mirror. However, not all cavities are visible to the naked eye, especially those between teeth or on the back molars.
3. Pain When Eating or Drinking
Cavities can cause pain or discomfort when you eat or drink, especially when consuming sweet, hot, or cold foods and drinks. This pain happens because the cavity has caused decay that reached the inner layer of the tooth, where the nerves and blood vessels reside.
4. Staining on the Tooth’s Surface
Another sign of a cavity can be a stain on the surface of your tooth. These stains can range in color from white to black. The presence of white or chalky spots could be an early sign of tooth decay.
5. Bad Breath or Unpleasant Taste in Your Mouth
If a cavity is left untreated, bacteria will continue to multiply, which can lead to persistent bad breath or a persistent bad taste in your mouth.
If you notice any of above mentioned symptoms, it’s crucial to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. The earlier you catch a cavity, the easier it is to treat.
However, it’s important to note that cavities don’t always have symptoms, especially in their early stages. This is why regular dental check-ups are so crucial. Your dentist can detect cavities in their earliest stages, often before you experience any symptoms.
Prevention, as they say, is the best cure. Brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, eating a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help prevent cavities and other dental health problems. Your oral health is an important part of your overall health, so take steps to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
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