How do you know if you have a cavity?

picture of person with tooth pain

Have you ever woke up with a toothache and feared you may have a cavity? You may not have known that a cavity was forming on your tooth because not all cavities are visible to the naked eye. Here are some signs and symptoms to look for if you fear you may have a cavity:

-Pain while biting down.

-Pain while eating or drinking something sweet.

-Pain while eating or drinking something hot/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 cavities to occur is on the molars . Molars generally have a lot of grooves and pits that more easily collect food particles and bacteria, which can result in a cavity. Not everyone needs sealants, but for those that do, our office recommends getting sealants as soon as your molars are visible in your mouth. This usually occurs at 6 and 12 years old. Sealants seal the grooves and pits on your molars, preventing food and bacteria from getting stuck and creating a cavity. Not all cavities hurt, and if cavities continue to grow undetected, it can result in a bigger problem such as a root canal, crown, or an extraction.

picture of a tooth before a sealant is placed
Depressions and grooves cause an increased risk of decay.


photo of a tooth after a sealant is applied.
Applying sealant to these depressions and grooves can decrease the risk of forming cavities in these areas.

The best way to prevent cavities is to get x-rays once a year and have a cleaning and check up every 6 months at your dental office. Keeping a regular oral hygiene routine helps us catch problems before they start or at an early stage.