10 Cavity Signs and Symptoms

open mouthAccording to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with the National Institutes of Health, roughly 91% of US adults between the ages of 20 and 64 had dental caries in permanent teeth in 2011-2012. Many of these people don’t even realize they have cavities until they either have severe pain or we discover it at one of their dental appointments.

We wanted to help those people who may have a cavity and who may be unaware of their misfortune. The good news is there are some common signs or symptoms of cavities and tooth decay that are simple to detect on your own. Schedule an appointment today with our team at Susquehanna Dental Arts if you exhibit any of these signs and symptoms.

  1. White, chalky, or opaque spots on your teeth. These typically are near the gum line and are one of the first signs of decay.
  2. Another one of the first signs of decay is highly sensitive teeth or toothache. Cold sensitivity is normal, but if you are developing sensitivity to hot foods or beverages it could be a warning sign that your tooth is dying or dead.
  3. An appearance of holes or gaps between the teeth. Believe it or not cavities can cause teeth to shift and create the appearance of holes or gaps in your teeth. These holes or gaps can also be on the upper surface of the teeth as well as the sides.
  4. Blood on your toothbrush should not be ignored. Something needs to fill the gaps created by the cavity and your gums begin to grow into those new areas. Once you brush you damage the new gum tissue, and this causes the gums to bleed.
  5. Food getting stuck on or between your teeth. The new holes and gaps we discussed above create new areas for food to stick.
  6. Bad breath and/or an unpleasant taste in your mouth could be the result of the food particles getting lodged in the cavities.
  7. A chipping or fracturing of your teeth. Between the extra shifting of teeth and the wearing away of the enamel caused by cavities, you become more susceptible to breaking your teeth.
  8. Inability to chew with a tooth or teeth and/or pain while chewing. If the tooth decay reaches the innermost part of your tooth known as the tooth pulp, you’ll begin to feel a pain when you bite or chew with that tooth.
  9. Darkening teeth or spots on your teeth. As with the white, chalky, or opaque spots, a darkening of teeth or dark spots is another warning sign of tooth decay.
  10. A swelling in your gums, and possibly with infection. Once decay reaches the tooth pulp, it moves into the tissues and bones surrounding your teeth as well. It then begins to generate pus and leads to swelling in your gums.

We hope you don’t recognize any of these common cavity signs and symptoms, but if you do, don’t hesitate to give us a call!