Sometimes people feel like they have a cavity when they don’t, and others may have cavities and not even know it! In the earliest stages of a cavity, there may be no symptoms. There are no nerves in your tooth’s enamel, so when the decay is in that layer, it’s likely that you won’t feel a thing. Once the decay has progressed enough to reach the softer tissues inside the tooth, you might experience some symptoms.
- Your teeth might feel sensitive
- You might feel some pain after eating sweets, hot foods or cold foods. The pain might be fairly mild or it might be sharp and intense.
- You may feel pain when you bite down
- Cavities sometimes create visible holes in the teeth.
- Cavities may create stains that are black, brown or white on the surface of the tooth.
What should you do if you think you have a cavity? See your dentist! Although cavities can be reversed in the early stages, by the time you are feeling discomfort or pain, only a dentist can treat them. An x-ray will be taken to determine how the cavity has progressed into the tooth. Depending on how severe the cavity is, you might need a filling to fix it. If the decay is very severe, the dentist might replace the tooth with a crown or perform a root canal.
Even if you’re not sure if you have a cavity, regular professional cleaning and dental visits are important. As with many conditions, when it comes to cavities, taking preventative steps is a lot easier than treating the problem down the road.