Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in every four adults has a cavity. In the earliest stages, cavities usually show no signs. If you have a cavity, you’re likely unaware of the infection and will only find out about it when you head to the dentist for a checkup — if you head to the dentist for a checkup.
Sometimes, people have annoying dental symptoms without realizing that they indicate a cavity.
At Advanced Care Dentistry in Woodinville, Washington, Thomas O. Marxen, DDS, MSD, and Andrew Keith, DDS, recommend regular dental visits to keep up with oral hygiene and to check for hidden decay or gum disease. Schedule a visit outside these regular checkups if you have any of the following symptoms of a cavity.
Hot and cold sensitivity
If you have lingering sensitivity after drinking a cold beverage, eating ice cream, or sipping hot drinks, you may have a cavity. Dental caries, the infection that causes cavities, wears down the outer layer of your teeth, known as the enamel. This exposes the dentin that lies beneath.
When hot or cold foods and beverages hit the dentin, nerves and cells in your teeth are triggered.
Pain while biting
If you notice pain while biting down consistently in one location of your mouth, it’s a good indication that you have a cavity. Pain while biting usually occurs with cavities that are in the back molars.
An aching tooth is always a reason for concern. It indicates a cavity or another type of infection.
The pain you feel may be constant and debilitating or show up inconsistently and feel dull. If you ignore the toothache, the pain can radiate to other teeth or around your mouth.
Swollen and bleeding gums
If you have swollen and bleeding gums, it’s a good idea to make an appointment at Advanced Care Dentistry. These are symptoms of the beginnings of gum disease, or gingivitis. They can also indicate that you have a cavity near the gum line.
Take care of your gums, which are intrinsic to your oral health.
The bacteria that causes cavities produces waste that can lead to bad breath and a weird, foul taste in your mouth. Bad breath is embarrassing and uncomfortable. If it’s developed lately and is persistent, no matter what you eat, come see us to ensure you don’t have a cavity.
When a cavity advances, you’ll notice discoloration, a hole, and pus around the affected tooth. These signs mean you waited too long to have your cavity treated and need emergency care.
Without immediate treatment, you risk losing the infected tooth. The decay may easily spread to other teeth in your mouth, too.
If you’re due for a regular dental exam and cleaning or have symptoms that suggest a cavity, contact Advanced Care Dentistry for a visit. Call the office or reach out via this website to schedule an appointment.