What Do Cavities Feel Like?

What Do Cavities Feel Like?
December 11, 2023

Anyone who has been to the dentist knows that cavities are something that they should avoid. Despite that, not many people understand the signs that they have a cavity. 

In this article, we hope to help you know the factors that indicate that a cavity is present in one of your teeth. We’ll begin by detailing what a cavity feels like before covering a few important related topics. 


What it Feels Like to Have a Cavity

During the early stages of a cavity, it may feel like nothing at all. The lack of perceptible sensation that can come with a cavity in early development is part of the reason that many people don’t notice they have them. 

However, there are also many situations in which a cavity causes severe physical sensations. Cavities commonly cause toothaches and general tooth sensitivity. This sensitivity is most noticeable when drinking liquids that are exceptionally hot or cold. It can also arise when eating foods that are acidic or very sweet. 

In extreme situations, a cavity can cause a sharp shooting pain that you can feel in your teeth and gums. But as the following sections will show, this physical pain is far from the only sign that you have a cavity in your mouth. 


What Do Cavities Look Like?

The visual appearance of your cavity will depend on how much it has developed. During the early stages of cavity formation, your cavity may be completely imperceptible to the untrained eye. At that stage, a cavity may look like nothing more than a slight white mark on your teeth. 

As cavities grow, they become more visually present. A developing cavity can look like a small black or brown dot on your teeth. If left untreated, the size of your cavity will only increase and become significantly more noticeable. 


Other Signs that You Might Have a Cavity

Along with the physical sensations and the visual cues we just mentioned, there are plenty of other signs that you might have a cavity. For example, if you notice that your breath has a foul scent, even after brushing, there is a good chance that tooth decay or a cavity is the cause. 

In addition, you may notice a sudden pain in your mouth that seems to appear due to no perceptible cause. For example, if you suddenly bite down on a piece of food as you normally would, but you feel significant pain, the pain may be the result of a newly formed cavity. 

What Happens if You Don’t Treat a Cavity?

Allowing a cavity to go untreated is a terrible idea, and you should understand why. First, once a cavity forms, it will not go away on its own or through the use of home remedies. Instead, a cavity will continue to spread, further affecting the tooth and potentially spreading to other teeth. 

As a cavity grows, your tooth will weaken, become more brittle, and may even break. Unchecked cavities can eventually cause damage to the nerves within your teeth, and in extreme cases, they can cause serious infections. In rare cases, such an infection can be fatal. As such, it is always best to take action as soon as you notice the signs of a cavity. 

What to Do After Discovering You Have a Cavity

Many who discover that they have a cavity in their mouth are unsure of what to do next. Fortunately, the course of action you should take is quite straightforward. 

If you suspect that you may have a cavity developing in your mouth, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as you can. Once you are in the office, your dentist will know how to proceed and will provide you with the proper cavity treatment. 

What Causes Cavities?

The most common cause of cavities is a lack of sufficient dental hygiene. Whether you fail to brush and floss regularly and thoroughly or you don’t keep up with regular dental cleanings, your risk of developing a cavity will rise. 

If your dental care routine is lacking, plaque will begin to form on your teeth. This is especially common for those who eat a lot of sugary food. As plaque continues to spread, it will begin to erode the exterior portions of your teeth. 

Eventually, the erosive effect of plaque will cause a hole to form in your tooth’s enamel. At this point, whether you know it or not, a cavity has officially formed. Considering the dire effects that a cavity can have, preventing them is a must for anyone who values their dental health and overall well-being. 

brushing teeth

How to Prevent a Cavity

The first step to take when attempting to prevent cavities is to adopt and adhere to a comprehensive dental care routine. This routine should include brushing, flossing, and rinsing at least twice per day. 

In addition to the care routine you use at home, you should also schedule regular cleanings with your dentist. While the brushing, flossing, and rinsing you do at home will help prevent cavities, dentists have the ability to clean your mouth more thoroughly. Visiting a dentist regularly also allows them to notice cavities as soon as they arise. 

It can also be quite helpful to alter your diet to be a bit more tooth-friendly. For example, sugary foods and beverages are more likely to cause tooth decay, which can lead to cavities. Eliminating or reducing these foods in your diet will help lessen the odds of a cavity forming. 

Get the Best Treatment for Your Cavity

By now, you have an excellent understanding of what cavities feel like, the damage they can cause, and some of the preventative measures you should take to avoid them. As noted above, one of the most important of those preventative measures is to keep up with regular dental cleanings. If you live in the Loveland, CO, area and you need a dentist you can trust, Rocky Mountain Smiles is here to help you. At Rocky Mountain Smiles, we are experts at detecting and treating cavities. If you want to learn more about our services or schedule a cleaning, reach out to us today!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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