Have you ever awoken with a toothache and feared it was a cavity? You may not have even known that a cavity had been forming on your tooth because not all cavities are visible to the naked eye, and do not always show signs and symptoms right away. We asked our Licensed Dental Assistant, Jamie, to help us understand signs, symptoms, and prevention.
The most common signs to look for are:
- Pain when biting down
- Pain when eating or drinking something sweet
- Pain while eating or drinking something hot or cold
- Holes or pits on the biting surface of your tooth
- Brown or black stain on any surface of your tooth
The most common place for a cavity to form is on your molars. Molars have many grooves on the biting surface of the teeth that can more easily collect and trap food particles, resulting in the bacteria that causes cavities to form. Family Dentist Tree recommends getting sealants as soon as your molars are visible, generally at 6 and 12 years old. Sealants seal the grooves of our molars, helping to prevent cavities before they can start.
Not all cavities hurt. Cavities can be found early by taking x-rays and getting regular exams. Cavities that are caught early can usually be treated with a filling. When a cavity continues to grow, it can result in more costly treatment such as crowns, root canals, or even tooth loss.
The best way to prevent cavities is getting x-rays once per year and having a cleaning and check-up every 6 months.