How can you tell if you have a cavity?

dentist 3-D diagram of tooth cavity

Cavities are one of the most common dental issues an individual may face. Cavities generally start from tooth decay, which results in severe pain and inflammation. However, cavities don’t always cause immediate discomfort, meaning they can progress without being noticed. They often start small but then gradually grow if left untreated. As such, it is imperative to visit your dentist regularly. Please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our general dentistry/dentists located in Basking Ridge & Morristown, NJ, who will work tirelessly to help you improve and maintain your overall oral health. Please continue reading to learn how you can prevent a cavity. 

What is a cavity?

A cavity is a hole in the hard surface of your teeth that can grow bigger and deeper over time, permanently damaging the enamel and dentin. Cavities develop when a tooth decays. Unfortunately, cavities are so common that many people do not take them seriously. However, knowing the telltale signs and symptoms of cavities is imperative. Cavities do not go away on their own. If left unaddressed or untreated, they can spread, resulting in brittle teeth that are more likely to crack or break. In addition, when you don’t treat them, you can experience a combination of symptoms such as greater sensitivity, discolored teeth, pain when chewing, and infections that can spread to your bloodstream. The following include but are not limited to some of the symptoms you may experience if you have a cavity:

  • Having bad breath
  • Toothache
  • Tooth Sensitivity
  • Pain when you bite down
  • Black, white, or brown tooth stains
  • Gum bleeding
  • Facial lump or swelling
  • Inflammation or redness around the mouth area
  • Visible hole in your tooth
  • Sharp pain when you eat or drink sweet, hot, or cold things

How can I prevent a cavity?

Fortunately, if you properly care for your teeth, you can avoid developing a cavity. One of the best prevention tips you can follow is brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. The proper technique, brushing up and down in a circular motion, is crucial to prevent plaque build-up. In addition to brushing your teeth at least twice a day, you should floss your teeth a minimum of once daily to remove food stuck between your teeth. It is also beneficial to avoid or at least limit any sweet or sugary drinks or food. However, the best way to avoid forming a cavity is by seeing your dentist at least twice a year for a regular check-up.

If you think you may have a cavity, it is in your best interest to schedule an appointment with the skilled team at Dental Associates of Basking Ridge. Our experienced team of dentists is prepared to help you keep the healthiest mouth and brightest smile possible.

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