As you’re sitting in the coffee shop enjoying a midday break, you notice you have a slight toothache. Funny, you haven’t noticed this before, why is it hurting now? Could it be because you have a cavity? How would you even know, what are the signs to look for? Cavities can be very hard to spot initially, so in order to make your life a little easier, here are the top 7 signs that you might have one, courtesy of your Cookville dentist, Dr. Robert Sikes.
1. Bad Breath
A cavity refers to tooth decay, and this means bacterial plaque has started to breakdown your enamel. This bacteria is also what causes bad breath, so if you start to notice it despite brushing and flossing regularly, this could mean that you have a cavity.
2. Bad Taste
One of the best parts about brushing your teeth is that fresh feeling in your mouth afterward. However, if you have a cavity, you may have a bad taste in your mouth even after brushing.
3. Tooth Pain
This is the symptom most people will be familiar with. The pain comes from the nerve of your tooth having less protection around it because the enamel is breaking down. As soon as you feel any pain in your tooth, you need to call your dentist, because this could mean that the cavity is quite advanced.
4. Tooth Sensitivity
This can be caused by a multitude of reasons, but if your sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures lasts for a long time, or doesn’t change when you use a toothpaste specifically for sensitive teeth, it’s a definite sign that your tooth might be decaying.
5. Dark Spots
You should always give your teeth a look whenever you brush them to see if you notice any discolored or dark spots. If you do, it’s very likely that they’re caused by a cavity.
You may be able to see these or even feel them with your tongue. This means the cavity has worked its way through your enamel, and you need to get it taken care of very soon.
This will appear in a pocket on the gums, and is usually a sign that the cavity has reached the most inner part of your tooth. You should immediately get care, because before long, your tooth may be too damaged to save.
What You Can Do
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should quickly call Dr. Sikes’ office so you can start getting treatment. The sooner your cavity gets attention, the easier it will be to take care of. If it is caught early, a simple filling may be all it needs. However, if the cavity has been around for a long time, you may need a root canal (don’t worry, it doesn’t actually hurt).
Of course, you’d prefer to not get cavities at all, right? The best way to prevent them is to brush and floss every day, as well as come in for a check-up and cleaning twice a year. This gives Dr. Sikes and his team the chance to clean your teeth in ways you can’t at home, as well as catch any cavities you might have early while they are still small.
If you still have questions about how to know if you have a cavity, or believe you might have one already, just give us a call today so can start taking care of you.