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How Do I Know When I Have a Cavity?

A dental cavity is simply defined as a hole in the tooth’s outer layers. If a cavity is small and not painful, it often goes unnoticed. However, larger cavities trap food particles and irritate the pulp which causes toothaches. It’s best to avoid cold, hot, sour and sweet foods if you are already experiencing frequent toothaches.

Cavities can result from several factors such as bacteria, poor dental hygiene and a high intake of sugary foods. Signs of tooth decay fluctuate depending on the location, and if it’s just starting, it will be nearly impossible to detect.

As the cavity enlarges, there are several warning signs:

Tingling Feeling

Irreversible pulpits lead to a tingling feeling that is self-triggered. When your tooth aches without being triggered, this means that the nerves have been infected by bacteria. Additionally, the nerve is likely in the process of dying.

Another type of toothache occurs when actually using the tooth. Generally, patients experience a stabbing pain in the infected tooth when chewing food. Severe toothaches can affect your ability to concentrate and disrupt sleep patterns.

Extreme Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity begins when the top cover of the enamel decays and affects the layer beneath. Teeth with cavities are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature. If you suddenly feel sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods, you may have a cavity, reversible pulpit, or a gum recession.

Dark Spot in the Tooth

One of the major signs of tooth decay is a sudden hole or dark spot in the tooth which is caused by enamel erosion. To determine if the hole is caused by a cavity, an x-ray must be taken. The appearance of the dark spot could also be tooth decay so it’s important to have the dentist provide you with a full examination.

Contact Lindner Dental at 603-624-3900 if you are experiencing any of the signs above.