What Are the Different Signs of a Cavity?
1 in 4 Australian children ages 6-14 have dental decay. 11% ages 1-10 have at least 1 tooth with untreated decay.
The situation isn’t better for adults. At least 1/3 ages 15 or older have untreated decay.
Tooth decay, more commonly called cavities by the general population, are caused by uncontrolled growth of bacteria in the mouth. They should not be ignored since they cause your tooth to break down over time and infections can then occur.
A cavity is a hole in your enamel caused by bacteria multiplying rapidly and the food that we eat provide fuel for the bacterial growth. It creates acid that thins and breaks down the enamel to expose the dentin beneath.
Read on to learn the signs of a cavity to look out for.
Tooth Sensitivity and Pain
Lingering sensitivity and pain are some of the most notable signs you have a cavity.
Exposed dentin has hollow tubes that lead to the nerves inside your tooth. You may feel pain if anything touches them. The area around the tooth may also become inflamed.
This makes you sensitive to food or drinks that are:
You’ll also experience general pain from the exposed nerve. The ache may be long-lasting or come on suddenly.
Bleeding or Swollen Gums
30% of Australian adults have moderate or severe periodontitis or gum disease.
Cavity prevention and gum disease prevention often go hand in hand due to the bacterial nature of both dental diseases. Brush and floss your teeth well to remove bacteria and plaque. See the dentist as soon as possible if you notice your gums are swollen or bleeding.
Cavity treatment may also need to be combined with gum disease treatment, especially if the cavity appears near the gum line.
Discolouration or Stains
White spots on your teeth are one of the first signs of a cavity. They may darken and become yellow, brown, or black as the decay worsens.
Children are especially likely to see orange or green patches on their teeth. These can point to a cavity but may also indicate a bacterial infection.
Be sure to check with a dentist to make sure that discolouration or stains on your teeth aren’t the result of another condition.
Holes or Pits
A hole or pit in your tooth is one of the surest signs of a cavity. It shows that bacteria have removed the calcium from your teeth and begun to eat away at it.
You should be able to spot them by looking in the mirror or running your tongue along your teeth. Some may be too small to see, but a dentist should be able to find them.
Bad Breath and Strange Tastes
Excessive bacteria on any part of your body tends to create a foul odour. This is true for cavities as well, and they can give you bad breath. Bacteria in your mouth may also create strange tastes in your mouth.
Where to Get Treatment After Noticing Signs of a Cavity
Cavities are a serious problem because they lead to tooth infections and severe loss of tooth structure. They create holes in your teeth that expose the softer and vulnerable dentin underneath.
Look out for the signs of a cavity and see your dentist regularly so teeth and gums are checked for signs of cavities and gum disease. Check for pain, sensitivity, discolouration, bleeding or swollen gums, stains, holes, pits, bad breath, or strange tastes. Make sure your oral hygiene is thorough and adequate for your needs.
Getting rid of a cavity requires help from your dentist. Find one you can trust to make sure it gets treated as soon as possible.
If you’ve been searching for the best dentist in Bondi, look no further. Contact us today for an appointment.