There’s one thing we all fear when going to the dentist: cavities. It is certainly never fun to hear that you need a few fillings. That said, it is always better to pay a visit to your dentist to have your cavities treated sooner rather than later—otherwise, the problem will only get worse! If you think you might have a cavity, here are a few signs to be on the lookout for.
1. Your teeth are sensitive to heat and cold.
One of the first things you may notice when you have a cavity is hypersensitivity to extreme temperatures. This can make drinking hot coffee or a glass of ice water quite painful. When you have a cavity, the outer protective layer known as your dental enamel is worn away. This exposes the dentin layer, which provides direct access to the nerve pulp within your tooth—making your tooth extra sensitive to outside stimuli. As a result, you will likely experience quick, sharp pains when eating and drinking that will be difficult to ignore.
2. You have a throbbing toothache that won’t quit.
Have you had a toothache that won’t go away? If so, dental pain should not be ignored. This is also a sign that there is a hole in your dental enamel and is exposed to the dentin layer. The pain of a cavity will not go away with time—in fact, it is likely only to get progressively worse. If left untreated, the decay could reach the tooth’s nerve and ultimately result in you needing root canal treatment. Therefore, if you have throbbing dental pain, be sure to bring it to your dentist’s attention straight away.
3. Chewing or biting down is painful.
Did you know that your dental enamel is the strongest substance in your body? This allows your teeth to withstand the endless wear and tear that comes with eating, chewing, and speaking. Therefore, if you’re experiencing pain while chewing or biting down, it is a pretty strong indicator that something is amiss. For example, it could be a sign that you have a cavity or a crack in your tooth, or it could indicate infection or inflammation that has reached the nerve. Either way, make sure that you visit the dentist as soon as possible to get some relief.
4. You can see discoloration or even holes on your teeth.
If you’re experiencing dental pain, take a quick look at the offending tooth. Do you notice any discoloration on the enamel? Can you see white spots on your tooth? Is there a visible hole in the enamel? If you’ve answered yes to any of the above questions, this could be a sign of tooth decay or a cavity. While cavities aren’t always easy to discern with the untrained eye, it is still possible that you can see the signs on your own. Therefore, if your cavity is bad enough to be visibly noticeable, it is certainly time to seek treatment.
5. Your breath is unpleasant.
Unfortunately, halitosis (also known as bad breath) is another possible symptom you could be experiencing as a result of your cavity. When you have a hole in your tooth, it tends to trap bacteria and food particles, leading to an unpleasant odor. That said, if you’re not experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, it is possible that your halitosis could be a result of other oral health issues, such as gum disease, gastrointestinal issues, or even tonsillitis. Either way, it is never a bad idea to have your dentist take a look.
If you think you might have a cavity, you must visit a dentist as soon as possible to alleviate your symptoms and prevent them from worsening.
To schedule your appointment, call Blue Island Smiles today!