Do I Have a Cavity? 7 Common Signs of Tooth Decay


Do I Have a Cavity? 7 Common Signs of Tooth Decay

No matter how solid your oral hygiene routine is, everyone has bacteria living inside their mouths. These bacteria, along with the sugary and acidic foods you eat, are at the root of tooth decay.

Tooth decay, the cause of cavities and dental caries, occurs when bacteria inside the mouth produce acid that breaks down the minerals like calcium and fluoride that comprise your tooth’s enamel (the hard, protective surface of the tooth).

So, how do you know if you have tooth decay? Although tooth decay often causes no signs or symptoms in its earliest stages, the following are some of the most common signs and symptoms of tooth decay.

7 Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Decay

1. Sensitivity to Hot or Cold Temperatures

Even in mild cases of tooth decay, you might experience tooth sensitivity.

2. Tooth Discoloration

Tooth decay exposes the darker layer of dentin below the enamel.

3. Holes on Your Teeth

You might be able to see small or larger holes in your teeth.

4. Persistent Bad Breath

Tooth decay can cause a bad smell or taste in your mouth.


5. Swollen Gums

Excess bacteria cause both tooth decay and gum disease. So, symptoms of gum disease often accompany tooth decay.

6. Toothache

Advanced tooth decay exposes a tooth’s interior pulp, causing a painful infection and painfully triggering your nerves.

7. No Symptoms Whatsoever

Tooth decay commonly occurs with no symptoms at all. Only more advanced stages of tooth decay, in which a tooth’s dentin or roots are exposed, tend to cause painful symptoms.

Could You Have a Cavity? Schedule a Dental Exam in La Mesa

The best way to diagnose tooth decay in its earliest, most easily treated stages is to visit the dentist regularly. If, however, you experience any of the above-listed signs and symptoms of cavities and tooth decay, we strongly encourage you to schedule a dental exam as soon as possible.

Dr. Michels will thoroughly examine your teeth, looking for the telltale signs of dental caries and soft spots that are early indicators of tooth decay. Depending on your diagnosis, he will then provide you with a variety of treatment options and help you determine the best way to get your dental health back on track.

To learn more or schedule a dental appointment, we welcome you to contact Cardinal Dental today.