How To Tell If You Have a Cavity

Cavity Tacoma, WA

A cavity results when the enamel, which is the outermost and visible layer of teeth, erodes away due to acidic attacks caused by bacteria and food particles. Cavities worsen the longer they go untreated, so detecting them early and seeking prompt restorative dental care is important.

What are the signs of a dental cavity?

The early signs of a dental cavity include a visible hole or pit, tooth discoloration, pain while chewing, sensitivity, and toothache. If one or more of these symptoms develop, then it is important to notify the dentist and schedule a visit for an oral examination and treatment.

A visible hole or pit

The word cavity refers to a hole that exists on an otherwise solid object. In dentistry, the term is used to describe eroded tooth enamel, which creates a hole or pit, depending on the location of the decay. Therefore, if a hole or pit can be seen or felt, then it suggests a cavity is likely unless the hole or pit is caused by trauma and not decay. In either case, seeking prompt care is important.

Tooth discoloration

Tooth discoloration can result when the tooth develops a cavity. This typically appears as a darker color and is relatively noticeable. The size of the discoloration may spread the longer the cavity goes untreated. Before the cavity forms, teeth may turn a lighter white color once the enamel weakens and officially erodes away. Any discoloration should be promptly addressed and treated by a dentist, either through filling the cavity, root canal therapy, or strengthening the enamel through fluoride treatment.

Pain while chewing

Dental cavities expose the underlying layers of teeth. In these layers, there are far more nerves than in the enamel, which means that pain can intensify the deeper the cavity spreads toward the root of the tooth. One way this pain is noticed is by chewing, particularly when pressure is placed on the tooth.

Tooth sensitivity

Due to the exposure of the underlying layers of teeth, cavities also can cause sensitivity as well. This is typically at its worst when the tooth is exposed to hot or cold substances, such as hot foods or frozen drinks. Sensitivity is a sign that the cavity is spreading toward the root and could lead to more severe complications if left untreated.

An aching tooth

A toothache that remains constant and does not improve on its own is also a concerning sign of a cavity. If left untreated, it could lead to an infection and thus far more invasive treatment. Therefore, any toothache that does not go away within a few hours requires prompt care from a dentist.

Schedule a visit with our team for cavity detection and treatment

If you have symptoms of a cavity or simply are due for your next check-up, then contact our office today to schedule a visit. We offer cavity detection and treatment, and we can help you put together a plan for cavity prevention in the long term.

Request an appointment here: or call Korsmo Family Dental at (253) 336-0016 for an appointment in our Tacoma office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Cavity in Tacoma, WA.

Recent Posts

What Happens When Cavities Go Untreated?

Cavities are holes in the enamel of a tooth. A cavity that is detected early and treated in a timely manner does not pose much of a risk to your long-term health. However, if cavities go untreated for an extended amount of time, then it can lead to worsening concerns, including severe discomfort and potential…

A General Dentist Gives Tips To Prevent Common Causes Of Tooth Aches

A general dentist is the best source to ask when looking for ways to prevent a toothache. Scheduling an appointment for a toothache is one activity we would love to avoid. We all know that we should go to the dentist every six months to prevent cavities, but there are times when toothaches decide to…

Why Cavities Always Require Immediate Attention

Cavities are a very common dental issue. Leaving a cavity untreated can lead to serious complications, including tooth loss. Read on to learn about the importance of treating cavities.You should schedule a visit with a dentist anytime the signs of a dental cavity develop to avoid worsening concerns. The following is a detailed review of…

A General Dentist Answers FAQs About Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride treatments are a method of cleaning teeth that your general dentist can provide. It is a naturally occurring mineral found in water and food that can go a long way toward protecting your teeth. It is vital to keep the tooth enamel healthy and fight off bacteria that can harm your teeth and gums…

Recent Posts

Tips For Making The Most Of Your Routine Dental Care Appointments

Tips For Making The Most Of Your Routine Dental Care Appointments

Routine dental care is vital for anyone striving to achieve optimum health. Dentists recommend two preventative dental visits per year, but much can happen between visits; therefore, it is crucial to get the most out of each appointment.Professional cleanings are an essential component of routine dental care and can remove plaque and tartar below the…

How To Fit Routine Dental Care Into Your Schedule

How To Fit Routine Dental Care Into Your Schedule

Many people may believe that they do not have time for routine dental care, which consists of daily brushing and flossing as well as periodic cleaning by a dentist. Admittedly, these tasks do take some time but should be a priority even in a busy schedule. People who do not take time for brushing, flossing,…