Early Signs of Cavities and When to See a Dentist


Dental cavities or tooth decay are a common yet extremely dangerous health condition when left untreated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has claimed that almost 30% of adults in the US have untreated cavities. You should find the best treatment for cavities from an early stage so that you don’t have to deal with complex problems.

Cavities are the outcome of tooth decay and could affect the overall structure and health of your teeth. You can opt for tooth cavity treatment after consulting professional dentists only by identifying cavities at an early stage. Early detection can help in choosing the best treatment to prevent the need for complete extraction of teeth or a root canal. 

Cavities can damage the hard surface of the teeth and can create tiny holes or openings that can lead to tooth loss, excruciating toothache, or infection. The transition to signs and symptoms of cavities is characterized by tooth sensitivity, tooth pain, and unpleasant odor from the mouth. Let us learn more about cavities and the best ways to treat them right away.

Understanding Cavities

Dental cavities happen due to damage to certain portions of teeth, and they are caused due to the enamel wearing off from the teeth. It also involves bacteria infecting the inner dentin. Plaque and sugary foods can eat away the hard enamel, making the tooth more vulnerable to decay.

Dental plaque is the most common cause of cavities. It is a clear and sticky film on your teeth that develops as a result of eating a lot of sugar or not cleaning the teeth properly. Plaque can gradually harden, resulting in the formation of tartar that fosters the growth of bacteria.

Sugar is also one of the notable catalysts for tooth decay. Upon consumption of sugar, it would interact with the bacteria in the plaque to produce acid. Anyone looking for tooth cavity treatmentin San Antonio or any other part of the world must know that acid slowly dissolves the enamel. The worn-out enamel gradually paves the way for cavities to form. 

Types of cavities

Any individual who has teeth can have dental cavities, even a baby. You can find the best treatment for dental cavities by identifying the type of cavities. Learn more about the most notable dental cavity types. 

●       Pit and fissure cavities

Pit and fissure cavities are characterized in the form of cavities over the top of the chewing surface of the tooth. The decay in pit and fissure activities can also affect the back teeth. These types of cavities emerge during the teenage years and can worsen in a short period of time.

●       Smooth-surface cavities

Dental treatment methods like root cavity treatment can also help in treatment of smooth-surface cavities. Such types of cavities grow slowly and dissolve the tooth enamel. You can prevent smooth-surface cavities and also reverse them with proper dental hygiene.

●       Root cavities

Root cavities or root decay are common in the case of adults with receding gums. The receding gums expose the roots to dental plaque and acid, thereby leading to root decay. It is extremely difficult to treat or prevent, and you must consult a professional dentist immediately.

Early Signs of Cavities

The ideal approach for treatment of dental cavities involves identifying the signs appearing at different stages of tooth decay. You may find different signs at the beginning of a dental cavity and other red flags that indicate that the cavity is growing bigger. You can identify cavities by using the following early signs. 

●       Toothache and Tooth Sensitivity

The first indication of dental cavities is toothache. You can experience spontaneous pain when you eat something. It may also cause discomfort around the mouth or pain when you bite food.

Cavities make your teeth more sensitive, and they may linger after you eat cold or hot foods. Without adequate enamel to protect the dentin, sugary, hot, and cold foods can stimulate the nerves in your tooth. 

●       Visible Holes or Pits in Your Teeth

You can verify that you need root cavity treatment when you notice holes or pits in your teeth. The holes or pits can be seen in the mirror or by feeling them with the tongue.

The appearance of the dark spots or holes can have different color variations ranging from light brown to dark black. The spots generally start as white spots, and the color worsens as the cavity progresses.

●       Stains on the Surface of Teeth

Cavities don’t turn into dark spots or holes directly. You would notice stains first when the cavities develop, and the stains look like white spots. The stain gradually becomes darker in color when the tooth decay becomes advanced. Stains caused by a cavity can be white, brown, or black in color.

●       Bad Breath or Bad Taste

Dental cavities or tooth decay can also lead to persistent signs such as bad breath or bad taste at all times. Tooth decay leads to bad breath, as the cavities can become the breeding ground for bacteria. The growth of bacteria in your dental cavities is the main cause of bad odor or taste.

When to See a Dentist

If you see any of the signs of dental cavities or tooth decay, then you should immediately consult a dentist. However, it is better to see a dentist before a cavity becomes worse.

●       Routine Check-ups

Visits to your dentist at regular intervals can help you maintain dental hygiene and health. Dental visits and regular X-rays can help prevent cavities or prevent the existing cavities from becoming severe health problems.

You should try visiting the dentist’s clinic once every 6 months to take care of your teeth. Your regular visits to the dentist’s clinic for routine check-ups can pay off in the long run with safety from all types of dental health problems. 

●       Signs of Cavities Requiring Immediate Attention

If you feel sensitivity lingering around in your teeth after biting hot, cold, sweet, or sticky foods, then you must immediately book your dentist appointment. Any type of pain in the teeth, whether spontaneous or persisting, deserves the attention of a dentist.

The most visible signs of dental cavities are the spots that begin as white and gradually turn into dark spots. Tooth decay also causes the development of pits or holes, which may appear abhorrent. The color variations of the spots include white, brown, and black.

In the advanced stages, dental cavities can become infected and lead to formation of abscesses. The abscesses can cause swelling and form a pocket of pus in the affected tooth. These signs are important reminders to call your dentist right away before things get worse.

●       The Consequences of Delaying Treatment

As you can notice, dental cavities can lead to worse health conditions for your teeth. If left untreated, the decay would progress and cause more complications, such as pain and discomfort.

Without the right treatment, dental cavities present risks of serious infections such as an abscessed tooth. Abscesses result in the formation of pus that comes from severe infection. The infection can lead to facial swelling and spread to surrounding tissues.

The severity of conditions that emerge due to lack of treatment for dental cavities shows that the treatment would become more complicated. In some of the rarest cases, the infection in dental cavities can spread to the bloodstream or brain, thereby increasing the cost of treatment.

Preventive Measures

The threat of dental cavities can be addressed with tooth cavity treatment and many other techniques. However, it is important to follow the preventive measures to keep dental cavities, tooth decay, and infections at bay.

●       Daily Oral Hygiene Practices

A soft-bristled toothbrush is the first thing you must add to your daily dental hygiene routine. Many doctors recommend fluoride toothpaste to get the best results against cavities. Practice the recommendations for oral hygiene and stay safe from cavities.

Another daily oral hygiene practice is daily flossing. It helps in removing plaque and food that is stuck between your teeth, thereby preventing bacterial growth.

●       Diet and Nutrition

Sugary snacks and drinks are one of the common causes of plaque buildup as they can easily stick to your teeth. Sugar is a store of carbohydrates, and bacteria can convert carbohydrates into acids that damage your teeth.

A balanced diet is also important to protect your teeth from cavities. For example, you need to consume a diet rich in vitamins C and E to support your dental health.

●       Professional Dental Care

Regular cleaning and check-ups with professional dental care can help in preventing cavities. It can let you enjoy a life without any dental health problems.

Fluoride treatment in the early stages of dental cavities can help in repairing damaged enamel. Dental sealants can protect the top chewing surfaces of your tooth and prevent the chances of tooth decay or cavities.

Spot Early Signs of Cavities: Schedule Your Dental Check-Up Now

Dental cavities can seem like a common dental health condition. However, they also lead to severe infections and complications or rising costs for treatment. You must identify the first symptoms of cavities to find the best treatment and avoid complaints of pain and severe infections.

You should look for reliable destinations to get tooth cavity treatmentin San Antonio to treat dental cavities. Regular visits to dental clinics and maintaining oral hygiene can help ensure safety from cavities.

The threats of dental cavities to your oral health clearly indicate the importance of early detection and prevention. Consult with a professional dentist clinic to learn more about prevention of dental cavities and schedule a dental check-up right away.

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