When you hear the word cavity, a shiver might run down your spine. Maybe you have had one before. You might have just heard about how terrible they are from friends and family. If you haven’t been lucky enough to wind up with a cavity yourself, you may not be aware of their common symptoms.
The assumption that cavities only happen to people who don’t brush and floss regularly is entirely inaccurate. In fact, over 70% of Americans have a cavity right now, whether they realize it yet or not. So, what do you need to look for in your mouth when checking for a cavity? What should you feel? Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of cavities.
Signs and Symptoms of Cavities
- Searing tooth pain that may have been gradual in progression, but that came out of nowhere (no apparent cause)
- Sensitivity to cold or hot beverages and foods
- Visible holes or craters in your teeth
- Dark colors or black spots on your teeth
- Pain when you bite down or when you eat sugary foods
What are cavities anyway?
Cavities are areas on your teeth that are permanently damaged causing tiny holes and openings around your teeth. This tooth decay can be caused by lack of proper oral hygiene, snacking on unhealthy foods, especially those filled with sugar, such as sodas and candies. Cavities can be pretty painful. In fact, the pain and inconvenience/lifestyle disturbance is what sends most patients to the dentist to remedy their problem with a cap or root canal.
What can you do to avoid cavities?
Practicing good oral hygiene is essential in avoiding a nasty cavity. This includes brushing and flossing two times a day for over 60 seconds each brushing. It also includes drinking plenty of water and limiting your sugar intake where/when you can. Also, it’s important to have your teeth professionally cleaned regularly to ensure that even the toughest plaque build-up can be eliminated before causing more problems in the future.
We hope you never have to experience a cavity. However, if you do, we are here to help! Give us a call or stop by our office to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.