Closeup of somone's teeth while smiling

How to Detect a Cavity Before It Gets Worse

Are you experiencing pain or a tingling sensation in one or several of your teeth? When it comes to cavities, a preventive plan of action is preferred — but if you’re already developing symptoms, early treatment is critical. Because teeth affected by cavities are in the process of actively decaying, these symptoms cannot simply be ignored or self-treated until they go away; they require thorough professional attention before the infection sets in further and ends up causing more pain… in your mouth and your wallet.

Cavities are not just “kid stuff.” It is very common for adults to get cavities. But how do we detect a cavity before the situation goes downhill? The following are some potential red flags:

1. Tooth Pain

Sometimes it is felt as a tingling sensation, and sometimes you feel a stabbing pain when you bite down on some food with the problematic tooth. A cavity can produce pain in the tooth whether you are chewing on food or not. The pain can even linger at night while you are sleeping, preventing you from feeling recharged in the morning.

2. Sensitivity

Sensitivity from a cavity often results from eating sugary foods or consuming something particularly hot or cold. Do your teeth hurt when you chew on a candy bar? This is not normal and may be a sign of a cavity.

3. Halitosis

Even if you practice excellent oral care, but you have noticed bad breath recently, it may be caused by a cavity. When a cavity begins to form, food particles may become trapped inside the tooth, making bacteria more of a problem than usual. Time to visit a dentist and keep your nice, healthy smile.

4. Holes

Perhaps the most obvious cavity indicator, a small visible hole or dark spot on the tooth is typically cause for concern. It is important to note that this is not always a cavity, but a tooth x-ray is a wise idea to investigate and treat accordingly.