Do You Have a Cavity? The Answer Might Surprise You
Do you have cavities? If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you might want to do it now. Cavities can sometimes cause pain or discomfort, but they can also be nearly asymptomatic. Dental caries, colloquially known as “cavities,” are caused by bacteriogenic acids eating away at the enamel of your teeth. If left untreated, the tooth decay can progress deeper into the dental tissue layers.
When a cavity is forming, you’re usually not aware of it. Almost everyone has at least one cavity during their lifetime, although some people are more genetically predisposed towards them than others. Even if you brush and floss regularly, you could still develop them — especially if you have a history of getting them relatively frequently.
There are a few symptoms you can look for that can indicate that you might have a cavity. If you suspect that you do, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to get it treated early. If left unattended ,cavities can get worse, and you could end up needing a root canal due to damage to the pulp of the tooth.
Warning Signs of Dental Caries
These red flags can indicate that you probably have at least one cavity, and should probably book an appointment with your dentist soon.
Halitosis (Bad Breath)
If you have a cavity, you may also have issues with bad breath. Cavities are ultimately caused by acidic byproducts of bacterial metabolism. The plaque that collects on your teeth is a biofilm, composed almost entirely of millions of bacteria of various types and species. This plaque irritates your gums, and both this irritation and the cavity itself can contribute to bad breath. If you find yourself popping more breath mints than usual, the underlying problem could be cavities.
A bad taste in your mouth
Dental caries can also produce an unpleasant undertaste that lingers in your mouth. Using mouthwash or brushing your teeth won’t get rid of it completely, as it’s coming from inside the mouth itself. Very deep cavities, in particular, can taste quite foul if the nerves are dying and there is a presence of pus.
Cavities can also cause toothaches by aggravating nearby nerves. This discomfort is often present after eating foods that are particularly hot or particularly cold. However, a lack of pain doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have a cavity.
If you have a cavity, it may produce a visible dark spot on your teeth. If it’s in a readily visible area, you may be able to spot it in the mirror.
You may be able to feel a hole in your tooth with your tongue, depending on its size and location.
The Presence of Pus
If visible pus is present in your mouth, you need to see a dentist as soon as possible. Pus is a whitish-yellow substance that forms at sites of inflammation caused by bacterial or fungal infections. It’s composed of a protein-rich fluid called liquor puris, with dead leukocytes (white blood cells) suspended in it. Pus is often accompanied by fever, chills, and other signs of infection. It can indicate that your tooth decay has progressed, and you may have an abscess. Dental abscesses can cause deadly sepsis, so timely treatment is incredibly important.
Suspect a Cavity? Call Us Today
At Access Dental, we can let you know for sure whether you have a cavity. If you do, it’s easy and painless to treat. Contact us today to book your appointment.