When you visit the dentist, the last thing you want to hear is that you have a cavity. Having a cavity requires another visit to the dentist to get it filled. For many it includes the discomfort of being numbed while the dentist drills away the decay from your tooth.
While there may be some cavity-causing factors that can’t be avoided, most of the reasons we get cavities are because of our own habits and tendencies. There are many things you can do to avoid cavities like regularly brushing and flossing your teeth, avoiding sugary drinks and snacks, and visiting your dentist every six-months for a checkup.
But for those times when you are doing your best to take care of your smile but feel that something is ‘off’, you may be able to catch and stop cavities by recognizing the warning signs and making an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to stop dental problems in their tracks.
Here’s how to catch cavities quickly.
1. Tooth Sensitivity
Anytime you feel tooth sensitivity, you want to contact a dentist as soon as possible. It can be intense or mild, but you’ll often notice a ‘zing’ in a tooth or teeth when you eat or drink food that is especially hot or cold. Sometimes very sweet foods and drinks can have the same effect.
2. Tooth Pain
Beyond tooth sensitivity, if you are experiencing tooth pain or a toothache, it may be a sign that you have a cavity. Again, it may be more or less intense but if you notice it getting worse it’s time to see the dentist. You may especially notice tooth pain when you bite down.
3. Holes In Your Teeth
One sure way to tell if you have a cavity is if you see a hole or holes in your teeth. A cavity by definition is a decayed part of the tooth. If you are seeing holes in your teeth the cavity has decayed away enough of the tooth in a noticeable enough area that you can see it.
While some stains on your teeth may be from coffee and soda consumption or from smoking, some stains may be an indication that cavities are present. Watch especially for dark stains on the teeth that are either brown or black in color.
5. Bad Breath
As the decay of a cavity continues, you may notice that you seem to have bad breath, or a bad taste in your mouth. That is because the same bacteria that causes cavities also causes bad breath. The more of this bacteria that is present, the worse your breath may be (and the worse your mouth will taste).
There’s no reason to avoid the dentist, even if you feel dentists charge too much money. You can search for “dental clinics near me” or find a dentist by insurance. There are many options for affordable dental insurance that make it easy to treat dental problems, like cavities, quickly and effectively.