young girl with cavity looking away

Early Signs of a Cavity

The bacteria in our mouths react with the sugars left behind by almost everything we eat to form acid. This acid eats away at the enamel of our teeth. After these acids weaken the enamel, a pit or cavity is formed in or on the surface of the tooth. Many times, these cavities cannot be detected until you attend one of your twice-yearly checkups, but there are actually some signs of a cavity that you can notice!

Chalky or Opaque Spots

Healthy teeth are covered in a layer of enamel that is clear. One of the earliest signs of decay is a chalky, opaque spot (or spots) caused by the removal of minerals, especially calcium, from the enamel.

Sensitivity to Temperature and/or Sugar

Teeth with cavities often become sensitive to food or drink that’s hot or cold. However, you should be aware that other conditions might also lead to sensitivity to temperature, including gum recession.

Teeth with cavities may also become sensitive to foods with a high content on sugar. Tooth sensitivity from decay can range from a mild to sharp tingling sensation when it comes in contact with food or drink that is hot, cold, or sugary.

Dark Spots

Over-the-counter teeth whitening options abound and people lament their ineffectiveness, but in reality, stains and dark spots (on teeth that were previously fine) are often a sign of decay. When people use over-the-counter whitening options, they are not truly treating the source of the decay.

Bad Breath

Food particles that get stuck in new pits or cavities in your teeth lead to a problem with bad breath that you may not have had before. The decay in dental cavities can also result in an unpleasant taste in your mouth.

Although knowing these signs is great, it’s still not enough. Early detection is always the best option for prevention and treatment of cavities. At your six-month regular dental checkups (even if your mouth feels fine!), we use X-rays to pinpoint cavities that might otherwise escape notice so that we can tackle them before the problem spreads.

Do you think you have a cavity? Don't wait for it to get worse!

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