A strong oral hygiene routine including brushing twice daily and flossing every day helps to keep your teeth healthy and free from cavities. That said, no one is perfect, so here are a few ways to know if you might have a cavity.
What is a cavity?
'Dental caries' and 'cavities' are terms which describe tooth decay.
Dental cavities are small openings or holes in your teeth caused by tooth decay. Tooth decay may be caused by a variety of factors, such as poor oral hygiene, snacking on sweet foods, or bacteria in your mouth.
What are the signs that you may have a cavity?
You probably won't notice any symptoms when a cavity is beginning to form. Which is why regular dental checkups and cleanings are key to maintaining a healthy smile.
Even if your teeth feel fine, and you aren't experiencing any symptoms, cavities could be forming in your mouth.
If left untreated in the early stages, cavities will grow larger and you will likely develop some of the following symptoms:
- Mild to sharp pain when you are eating or drinking anything hot, cold or sweet
- Sudden toothache or pain without any apparent cause
- Unusual tooth sensitivity
- Sharp pain when biting down on foods
- Staining on the surface of your tooth
- You can see holes or small pits in your teeth
If you have any of the above symptoms, contact your dentist immediately to book an appointment. Only your dentist will be able to tell for sure whether you have a cavity.
To prevent cavities, brush thoroughly twice daily, floss regularly and see your dentist at least once every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning.