Have you noticed sensitivity in one or two teeth lately? Perhaps you felt a little pain with your morning coffee. Did you wonder if you could have a cavity? Have you ever asked yourself, “How do I know if I have a cavity?”Let’s talk about cavities, what causes them, symptoms, and what to do about them!
What is a Cavity?
When tooth decay damages a tooth to the point that it creates a hole, you have a cavity. This can affect the enamel, the outer protective coating of the tooth, or the inner layer, known as dentin.
What Causes Cavities?
Cavities have several causes, but usually they are preventable. Knowing the risk factors for cavities can help you avoid them.
- Certain foods and drinks, especially sticky and sugary foods that can be challenging to remove.
- Poor oral care habits. If you don’t brush and floss properly, you leave too much debris behind that feeds bacteria and weakens your enamel.
- Eating disorders and acid reflux disease can lead to excess acid in your mouth that wears down your tooth enamel.
- Dry mouth can be related to medications or not drinking enough water, which leads to insufficient saliva production. Saliva helps clean your teeth, so when you don’t produce enough, you leave your teeth open to bacteria build-up.
Signs You May Have a Cavity
It’s possible to have a cavity and not feel a thing, but eventually you will notice. There are some common warning signs that alert you to the presence of a cavity.
- A toothache that comes out of nowhere or pain when biting down.
- Sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks.
- Visible holes in your teeth.
- Black, white, or brown stains on your teeth.
What to Do If You Think You Have a Cavity
If you suspect you have a cavity, contact the friendly team at Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics to book an appointment. Only a dentist can determine if you have a cavity and create a treatment plan. Your dental team can determine the best course for you and get you back to a pain-free smile!