Teeth Talk: Signs that Something is Wrong

Know What Your Teeth are Telling You

Beginning cavities are notoriously difficult to spot by the untrained eye, hence, they are considered a wide-spread condition. Unattended cavities can cause the spread of tooth decay and tooth loss with attendant gum disease and bone destruction.

So it is important that the first signs be recognized right away and treatment sought. Dentists were asked what signs should alert common folks that they have a tooth cavity or cavities. They agree that these five common signs point to the presence of a cavity in your mouth.

You have a toothache, and you don’t know why. You suddenly experience a toothache and nothing else about your health has changed, it could be due to a cavity. A cavity starts at the outer surface of teeth, the enamel, considered the strongest material in the body. It can bore down to the next layer, which is the dentin. If it reaches the pulp chamber with its rich nerve supply, you may feel pain already.

You feel sensitivity or pain with certain food and drinks. When you eat or drink acidic, cold, hot, sticky, or sweet items, you may have sensitive teeth. When a cavity finds its way down to the dentin, hollow canals known as microscopic tubules within can allow these foods to stimulate the nerves and cells inside. Dentin is yellowish tissue and makes up the bulk of teeth. It is harder than bone but softer than enamel. It is sensitive to pain, pressure, and temperature as the tubules connect to the pulp chamber.

You see a hole or pit on your tooth. If you see a small white spot on the surface of your tooth, a cavity is just forming. As the erosion gets worse and the cavity begins to burrow into your tooth, it forms a hole or pit that might be visible to the naked eye.

You notice a spot that has stained brown, black, or white. A discolored spot of a different hue from the rest of your teeth, can be a sign of tooth decay. Although cavities typically first look like little white marks, they can eventually pick up stains from the foods and beverages you consume, turning them a different color.

You feel a sharp jolt of pain when you bite down. This is another sign that your tooth’s pulp is inflamed or has actually died due to infection and is pressing down on the root underneath enclosed in bone. Any pressure downwards would hurt. There might be a crack in the tooth, allowing entry of outside elements.

Not Ignoring Warning Signs in Bellingham

Know the warning signs of cavities on your teeth. If you encounter any of these symptoms, do not delay seeing us at Dr. Tetrick’s. Early intervention is key.