Although you probably don’t like thinking about it, making sure you catch cavities before they get worse is very important for your mouth. After you’ve done all you can to prevent a cavity, by following tips in this previous post, you’ll want to watch for three signs.
First, you need to pay attention when you drink hot liquids or eat cold foods. Second, if your tooth hurts, don’t ignore it! And finally, ask your family members if you have bad breath. These three signs of a cavity may mean a trip to the dentist.
Is there a spot on a certain tooth that seems to protest every time you take a bite of warm food? This phenomenon is known as tooth sensitivity, and it’s more than just general tooth sensitivity solved by sensitive toothpaste. When a particular tooth aches or throbs when you sip your morning coffee, suck on an afternoon popsicle, or even chew some gummy bears, you’ve got something bigger happening. It doesn’t always mean a cavity, but chances are high that you do have one. So remember—if a certain tooth protests warm, cold, or sugary food or liquids, a cavity might be lurking.
Pain, as is its tendency, indicates that something is wrong. If a particular tooth actually causes you pain—more than the discomfort of a sensitive tooth—then a cavity is possible. If the pain is not constant, but rather is a sharp pain when you bite down on something, the culprit is usually a cavity, a crack in your tooth, or a loose filling—all of which require dental attention. Check out this helpful blog post listing oral pain symptoms and possible causes.
There’s a reason we’ve listed the symptoms of a cavity in this order. Generally, the longer you let a cavity go untreated, the worse it gets. One of the worse stages of a cavity is bad breath. Bad breath means you have let a cavity fester so long that it has started to rot the tooth. If a decaying tooth is at the root of your bad breath (it isn’t always!), it’s likely the decay has lead to tooth infection. The science of bad breath resulting from tooth decay can be found here. However, don’t be alarmed if you do have this type of bad breath—many patients don’t realize their bad breath comes from a decaying tooth, and the solution is often as easy as a filling.
Have you ever found a cavity another way?
This list may seem simple but it’s proven! Tooth sensitivity, pain, and bad breath can be symptoms of a cavity. Keep in mind that these symptoms don’t always lead to the discovery of a cavity, but since they often do, you’d do well to have your mouth looked at by a dentist.
Have you ever discovered a cavity because of one of these symptoms? Or perhaps another way, like the dental hygienist pressing down on a molar? We want to hear about it—not just how you found the cavity, but your experience getting the filling. The more you share, the more other readers will be aware—and isn’t that what reading blogs is all about?