Waving down the ice cream truck and sitting on a step eating an ice cream…
Sometimes we don’t notice cavities until something triggers discomfort. Cavities are not fun, so it’s important to know how to recognize them when they start. Here are 5 ways to spot cavities so you can catch them early.
1. Sensitivity to Foods and Drinks
Sometimes we don’t notice cavities until something triggers discomfort. If your teeth suddenly start hurting, try to pay attention to what you’re eating, drinking or doing when it happens. Increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures and/or sweets is one of the most common ways to spot cavities. When there are extra sweets and treats available during holidays or special occasion get-togethers, there can be more opportunity for triggers to affect your teeth.
2. Discomfort When Chewing
Sometimes cavities can cause discomfort when pressure is applied to the tooth, for example when chewing or biting into something. If you experience dental discomfort at any time while eating, this is a sign of a problem. Your teeth shouldn’t hurt and your dentist can help.
3. Sensitivity to Weather
Just like how hot or cold food can trigger a tooth that is suffering from a cavity, extreme weather can, too. If you experience dental discomfort when you go outside and it’s cold or windy, this can be another possible sign of a cavity.
Sometimes cavities don’t hurt, but still begin to show signs. If a tooth appears discolored or has spots that are whiter than usual, it can be a sign of early tooth decay. It could be a sign of more serious conditions progressing, as well, so if a tooth suddenly changes in appearance, it’s important to get it checked out right away by a dentist.
5. A Small Hole
One of the surest ways to spot cavities is when you can see the cavity clearly. Cavities are small holes that form in the enamel or surface layer of the tooth. Typically, by the time a small hole is visible without special dental tools, the cavity can be quite serious, so if you notice what looks like a dark spot or hole in a tooth, call your dentist right away.
When to See a Dentist
If a cavity is not treated promptly, it can lead to further damage or infection deep inside the tooth and jaw, which can require a more intensive procedure such as a root canal or extraction. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment to see a dentist as soon as possible.
Call our Shreveport Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.