Did you know that 1 in 4 adults aged 20 to 64 has at least one cavity? The health of your teeth directly correlates to your overall health, so knowing how to spot the signs of a cavity or the symptoms of tooth decay is important to keep your teeth in good health.
Untreated cavities can destroy your teeth and possibly lead to serious health issues.
So keep reading to find out how you can identify the symptoms of a cavity.
What Is a Cavity?
Plaque forms when food and bacteria build up on your teeth, which leads to acids forming. These acids can erode the enamel of your teeth. If enough plaque builds up, the acids can eat away at your teeth until cavities form.
A cavity is a hole in your tooth that, if left untreated, can lead to serious complications such as abscesses or infections. These complications are not only extremely painful, but if they enter your bloodstream, they can also be life-threatening.
Symptoms of a Cavity
The symptoms of a cavity can vary depending on the severity of the cavity. As the cavity becomes larger, the symptoms will become worse. Some signs of a cavity include:
- Pain or a toothache that appears without warning
- Sensitive teeth
- Pain when you eat or drink
- Pain induced by heat
- Holes or pits in your teeth
- Tooth stains or discoloration
- Pain when you bite down
If you think you might have a cavity or just want a dental checkup, you can schedule an appointment with your family dentist.
While everyone who has teeth is at risk of developing a cavity, there are some factors that can increase the risk.
Your back teeth (molars and premolars) are more likely to form cavities, as these teeth have a lot of grooves and roots that can collect plaque. In addition, these teeth are harder to reach and harder to clean.
Not Cleaning Your Teeth Properly
Plaque starts forming the moment you eat something, so if you don’t clean your teeth shortly afterward, you give the plaque more time to form. If you are constantly snacking throughout the day, you are also putting strain on your teeth as the plaque doesn’t get removed for long.
Fluoride, which is present in toothpaste and mouth rinses, is a mineral that helps prevent cavities. Fluoride can even reverse some of the earlier stages of tooth decay.
So by skipping out on the mouth rinse or not using enough toothpaste, you aren’t providing your teeth with enough of the mineral.
Spot the Cavity
Knowing how to spot the symptoms of a cavity is important when it comes to maintaining good dental health. Regular checkups and cleanings are generally recommended, but it might be better to see your dentist sooner rather than later if you have any unexplained symptoms.
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