How do I know if I have a Cavity?
Patients often ask how they can tell if they have a cavity. This is an excellent question, but does not always have an easy answer. Often you can have a cavity for some time before you start to show symptoms so you might find yourself asking “How do I know if I have a cavity?”
Symptoms of a Cavity
- Tooth Pain
- Tooth Sensitivity – While eating or drinking something cold
- Tooth Sensitivity – While eating or drinking something sweet
It is best to diagnose and treat a cavity before you begin having symptoms. Most often a cavity is diagnosed at your check up by the dentist or hygienist doing a physical exam and checking each tooth for “soft spots” in the enamel.
Another important tool used to diagnose a cavity is by taking xrays. Xrays are how we see what is going on between your teeth, below the gum line and inside your tooth.
Ways to prevent cavities:
- Brush your teeth after eating
- Floss once a day
- Swishing water after sweets if brushing is not available
- 6 month cleanings and check-ups with your dentist
- Limiting sweets: soda, candy, etc.
- Eating foods high in calcium
Cavities are common, but may be avoided with good oral hygiene. So even if you don’t have a toothache and think your mouth is fine, it is so important to come to your check up appointments every six months and have checkup xrays to diagnose cavities and other potential issues before symptoms begin.