Before we discuss the signs of a cavity, let’s talk about what a cavity is. A cavity is tooth decay that softens your tooth’s enamel. The damage of the tooth is caused by acids that are created by plaque bacteria as they ferment sugars within drinks, food, and snacks. The acid eats away at the tooth, eventually causing irreversible damage to your tooth. Cavities cannot heal themselves and do not go away over time. In fact, it only gets worse until treated by a dentist. There are signs to determine whether you are indeed suffering from a developing cavity.

Before we discuss the signs of a cavity, let’s talk about what a cavity is. A cavity is tooth decay that softens your tooth’s enamel. The damage of the tooth is caused by acids that are created by plaque bacteria as they ferment sugars within drinks, food, and snacks. The acid eats away at the tooth, eventually causing irreversible damage to your tooth. Cavities cannot heal themselves and do not go away over time. In fact, it only gets worse until treated by a dentist. There are signs to determine whether you are indeed suffering from a developing cavity.

You have a sensitivity to foods

When you are eating or drinking anything that is hot, cold, or sweet and you notice an uncomfortable feeling. When a cavity forms, it allows food and drinks to stimulate the nerves in your tooth which in return causes that feeling.

There is a brown or black spot on your tooth

Have you noticed a little discoloration in your tooth that was not there before? This could be a sign of tooth decay. Usually when a cavity begins, the color is white, but it begins to change color over time when it picks up the color of certain foods and drinks.

There is a visible hole

When erosion of the tooth begins, the cavity expands and forms an actual hole in your tooth. It will become visible and may become painful at this point. Seeking a dentist immediately to clean and treat the area will keep the cavity from causing further damage to the tooth and nerves.

If a cavity is diagnosed early in its development by your dentist via dental x-rays and regular examinations, before sensitivity within the tooth is noticed, treatment can be limited to just a small filling. However, when it comes to cavities, patients tend to wait until they are in immense pain before they visit the dentist for treatment. Treatment at this stage must be more invasive, often requiring larger restorations like an inlay, onlay, crown, or possibly even a root canal when the decay gets deep enough to reach the pulp or nerves within the tooth. In advanced very large decay, the tooth may even be unrestorable and require a dental extraction and replacement with a dental implant. Upon examination and diagnosis, the dentist will evaluate the problem area and determining which dental treatment option will work best for you.

If you are experiencing one or more of these signs, please schedule an appointment with us at (772)286-1606 for treatment before it progresses into something worse.