What Are the Warning Signs of Tooth Cavity? | Our Dental Blog
What Are the Warning Signs of Tooth Cavity?
Feb 20 2020
Of adults, 92% have or have had tooth decay. In fact, dental cavities are the most chronic disease in the world, primarily because of people's sugar consumption.
Are cavities typically painful? At what point should you check with the dentist? Read on to learn how to tell if you have a potential cavity, and what to do about it.
A cavity in your tooth happens when the enamel, or surface of a tooth, is damaged by acid and bacteria. This ultimately creates a pit in the tooth enamel, which we know as a cavity. Tooth decay starts at the outermost layer, the enamel of the tooth, but can also wear down to the inner layer of the tooth, which is called dentin.
You can sometimes recognize tooth decay if you see a dark spot on your tooth. This doesn't always mean there's a cavity, however. Some of these dark spots may only be stains caused by food or drinks.
At other times, a spot may not be visible even when there is a cavity present. Dark spots could also be a sign of injury or may even be due to some kinds of medications. Ideally, it's best to visit Dr. Sato for a dental exam if you suspect you might have a cavity.
Being in pain from tooth decay is determined by what stage the decay is at. You likely won't feel anything if the tooth decay is in the enamel layer, but the pain can start once the decay gets further into the tooth. Once the tooth decay reaches the dentin layer, you may experience sensitivity to cold or hot, or general tooth pain.
You should always get any tooth pain checked out by the dentist, as it might lead to a serious infection or even the loss of a tooth. The sooner the dentist can treat a tooth cavity, the easier the treatment.
Dr. Sato will search for cavities by tracking down soft spots on your teeth. You will also have x-rays done to locate tooth decay that may be hidden, such as those in spaces between teeth.
Cavities are caused when foods with carbohydrates or sugar like fruit, candy, cake, bread, and others remain on your teeth. Bacteria that are present in your mouth break them down and turn them into acid. This acid combines with your saliva, forming plaque, which then clings to the teeth. The plaque will begin to wear down the tooth's enamel.
To avoid cavities, you should stay away from foods and beverages that are high in sugar/carbohydrates and clear away any plaque from your teeth by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly.
There isn't any way to learn if you have a cavity without going to the dentist. Cavities only get worse as time goes on. If you have any concerns about your teeth or mouth, you should contact our office to schedule an appointment as soon as you can.