If you have a toothache, you might think you’ve got a cavity, and you’re probably right. Sometimes, however, it can be a little trickier to know if the problem is a cavity or something else. Let’s take a look at the most common signs you’ve got a cavity as opposed to another problem.
5 Common Signs You’ve Got a Cavity
A toothache is probably the number one sign you have a cavity. This doesn’t mean that your tooth aches constantly; in fact, the pain may be intermittent. Sometimes, you might not feel anything at all, but don’t be fooled. Not having any pain doesn’t mean the problem has gone away. If you have a toothache, you need to see your dentist.
2. Tooth Sensitivity
Sometimes your tooth doesn’t ache, but instead, it is sensitive to things you eat or drink, particularly cold, hot, and sweet foods. Furthermore, it will likely become increasingly uncomfortable over time as the problem worsens. While tooth sensitivity does not always mean you’ve got a cavity, you still need to get it checked out before the problem gets worse.
3. Pain When You Bite Down
Another sign you’ve got a cavity is if you experience pain when you bite down. This is usually a sharp kind of pain. What’s happening is that you’re grinding food particles into the cavity. That irritates the nerve inside your tooth and causes you pain. You might not feel pain every time you bite down, but if you experience pain even occasionally when biting, it’s one of the signs you’ve got a cavity.
4. A Visible Hole
If you can see a hole in your tooth, it’s likely a cavity. Sometimes, developmental anomalies on teeth appear similar to a hole, but they’re not. These are usually on the occlusal (biting) surface, but if the hole is on some other part of the tooth, it’s a cavity. Even if it is on the biting surface, you should still get it checked out.
5. Black, White, Yellow, or Brown Staining
Black, brown, yellow, or white staining on any tooth surface is another indicator you’ve got a cavity. The discoloration is caused by tooth decay and can also indicate another problem, a tooth abscess. If you see this kind of discoloration anywhere on your teeth, you should see a dentist right away before the problem gets worse and results in the need for more extensive treatment.
Taking good care of your teeth means paying attention to the messages your body is sending. If you have a toothache of any kind, tooth sensitivity, a visible hole, pain when biting, or discoloration, it’s time to see your dentist to keep your smile bright. Call our office to make an appointment today!