Remember when you were a kid and going to the dentist always felt like a test? Did you have a cavity this time? Did your mom and dad give you a surprise treat or money if you were cavity free? Even though you are now an adult, how to know if you have a cavity is still important.
Are Cavities That Worrisome?
As a child you knew that a cavity was a “bad thing,” but you probably didn’t really know why. As an adult it should be clear to you why remaining cavity free is a goal for life. That may be unachievable for many, but everyone should at least know how to recognize one and then what to do about it.
Cavities are a damaged area on the hard surface of your teeth that eventually develop into tiny holes in your teeth. They are sometimes known as tooth decay or caries. A cavity can affect the protective outer layer of your tooth, the enamel, as well as the inside, known as the dentin.
Tooth decay is one of the most common health problems in the world. In fact, 92% of adults have had cavities filled. If a cavity is left untreated, it can get larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth. A toothache, infections, and tooth loss will ultimately be the result.
So, yes, cavities are worrisome.
Signs Of Cavities
We don’t always know we have a cavity, but certain symptoms will alert us that something is wrong.
- Sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverages may be a sign of a cavity.
- Discoloration of any part of your tooth is a sign of a cavity. If you see any brown or black spots, make an appointment with Dr. JD Robinette.
- A toothache is an obvious sign you have a cavity. It can start out dull and intermittent or hit you with severe pain. It may hurt to bite down. The source of the toothache comes from the inflammation around the decayed tooth.
- Bad breath or a funny taste in your mouth can indicate a cavity.
- Swollen gums or gums that bleed usually mean the cavity needs immediate treatment.
- Finding a hole or a pit in your tooth may be a sign of a cavity. You may notice it in the mirror or by feeling it with your tongue.
Sometimes a cavity shows no signs. That is why it’s always beneficial to have regular cleanings and an examination with Dr. JD Robinette in Hickory, NC to catch cavities before they can progress into problems.