How do you know if you have a cavity, without visiting the dentist? In the earliest stages of a cavity, there may be no symptoms. During this time, you can reverse a cavity by brushing your teeth with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. However, as the decay progresses and the cavity becomes more severe, you may notice some of these signs:
- Tooth sensitivity (usually an uncomfortable tingling or tickling feeling), especially when consuming hot or cold drinks and food. You can try using special toothpaste for sensitive teeth, but if symptoms continue, you may have a cavity.
- Tooth pain, especially when eating sweet, hot, or cold foods. Toothaches are often associated with a cavity that has been left untreated, and you may feel pain even when you’re not biting down on anything.
- Visible holes in the teeth, depending on the size of the cavity. You may see it or feel it with your tongue. At this stage, the cavity may require extensive fillings or even a root canal.
- Dark spots on the teeth, which may be black, brown, or gray stains on the surface of the tooth. If you notice discoloration, contact our dentists right away, as it indicates bacteria penetrating your enamel.
- White spots on the teeth are an early warning sign that minerals are being lost due to tooth decay.
- Bad breath, especially if you are brushing your teeth and tongue regularly. Bacteria from tooth decay could be the cause of your chronic bad breath.
- A bad taste in your mouth may indicate that a cavity needs to be cleaned and filled. If you notice a chronic bad taste that cannot be remedied with mouthwash and toothpaste, contact your dentist.
- Cracked or chipped teeth may occur if you have a cavity, as the decay destroys the tooth foundation and causes teeth to become brittle.
- Bleeding when brushing teeth could be due to gum irritation from a large cavity at the gum line.
- Gum swelling can indicate a deep cavity, even if it doesn’t hurt. Contact your dentist for a diagnosis.
- Toothache from changes in air pressure, such as during an airplane takeoff or scuba dive, is likely due to an infected tooth.
- Pus is an extreme cavity symptom which indicates an abscess. Contact your dentist for medical attention immediately.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should visit a dentist for diagnosis and treatment. Schedule an appointment with the board-certified dentists at Central Avenue Dental in NYC and Valley Stream on Zocdoc or by filling out the form on this page. We offer white, composite tooth fillings to repair your cavities and restore your teeth to their natural appearance.