What Are The Symptoms of Tooth Decay?

25 Aug 2021  |  No Comments
Tooth symbol created from white and brown sugar cubes showcasing decay tooth on blue background

The health of your teeth is key to your overall health. Preventing tooth decay or cavities is one of the most important ways to keep your teeth in good condition and prevent other complications. Understanding the signs of a cavity can help you identify concerns early to prevent further tooth decay.

Marsfield Dental Clinic, put together this post to teach you signs that you may have a cavity and ways to prevent them.

What is a Cavity?

A cavity is a form of tooth decay caused by the acids in plaque that erode your enamel. When you eat, food and bacteria build up on your teeth which eventually forms plaque. While brushing and flossing your teeth can help get rid of plaque, they’re not an end all be all. That’s why you have to visit your dentist for regular cleanings.

Due to the way we chew, some areas of your mouth are more likely to develop cavities than others. For example, your molars, in between your teeth, and the bottoms of your teeth come into contact with trapped food more often, thus increasing the likelihood of a cavity.

Signs You May Have a Cavity

There are several indicators that you may have a cavity forming or getting worse.

  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks means that your enamel has worn away to expose the tissue underneath, called dentin. If you feel pain when you eat foods that are hot, cold, sticky, or acidic, it could mean that the dentin and nerves are exposed.
  • Sensitivity to sweets is another sign that you may have a cavity. Feeling tooth discomfort after eating sugar means that you don’t have enough enamel on the tooth to protect the dentin.
  • An ongoing toothache is one of the most common signs of a cavity. This could feel like pain or discomfort in or around your mouth or pressure when you bite down on food.
  • If you notice a stain on your tooth, it could also be a sign of a cavity. Stains usually begin as white spots and become darker as the cavity develops.
  • If you can see a hole or pit in your tooth, you definitely have a cavity or more advanced tooth decay. You might also feel the hole in your tooth when you run your tongue along the surface.

How to Prevent Cavities

Being proactive about cleaning your teeth and seeing your dentist is the best way to prevent tooth decay. This includes:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Seeing your dentist every six months for cleanings.
  • Flossing regularly.
  • Avoiding sugary foods and drinks, and foods that can stick to your teeth.
  • Drinking water throughout the day to stimulate saliva flow and rinse your teeth.

When To Call Your Dentist

If you think you may have a cavity, call your dentist immediately. Once a cavity is present, it will only get worse. Your dentist can help you with existing cavities and help you understand how to prevent them.

Marsfield Dental Clinic is the leading dentist in Macquarie Park, and we’re accepting new patients! To schedule a dental exam, call us on 02 9887 1961.

Disclaimer – This blog article does not constitute health advice from a dental professional. For more specific information, please seek an appointment with a dentist.

"The information in this website may be simplified in nature and does not replace professional advice. Risks and consequences may apply to any treatment. Always seek a second opinion when considering complex treatment. A referral to a specialist may be required in certain situations. Quotations can only be given after proper clinical assessment and so pricing details cannot be given over the phone."

COVID 19 Update - Oct 2021

 All our members of staff - Dentists and supporting assistants - are fully vaccinated. We are a COVID-safe practice and we are open for all general dental treatment needs and services.