Signs of cavity West MI family dentists

When something is wrong with your tooth, it should feel painful, right? Not always. A perfect example of this is a cavity that’s early in its development. However, not all hope is lost as there are small ways you may be tipped off to the cavity’s existence. Of course, a thorough examination by our West Michigan dentists is also recommended.

Here are 4 signs of a cavity to pay attention to before the tooth decay worsens.

Why Cavities Happen in the First Place

It all comes down to diet and how committed you are to an oral hygiene routine. If you’re someone who only brushes their teeth once a day, rarely flosses, and loves sugary drinks, you may be at higher risk for developing cavities.

Now, if you brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss once daily, and receive a teeth cleaning every 6 months from our dentists, you’re golden. Otherwise, food and bacteria have more of a chance to build up on your teeth and create sticky plaque.

Having this film sit on your teeth undisturbed will eventually lead to more of your natural enamel eroding and the formation of cavities. When this happens, you’ll need to have a tooth-colored filling placed to restore the affected tooth.

Fortunately, this is avoidable if you follow the habits previously mentioned. Our dentists can also apply dental sealants if you or your child want extra protection against cavities.

When a Cavity is Still Small, You Might Notice:

1) Some Tooth Sensitivity

A very common indication that a cavity has set in is general tooth sensitivity. The sensation can range from mild to more severe and can appear both suddenly and linger for some time.

Have you taken a sip of your hot coffee or enjoyed a frozen treat only to experience a sensitive tooth? This could be a sign that enamel has already begun to wear away and the layer underneath, dentin, has been exposed. If tooth sensitivity is unusual for you, please contact one of our West Michigan dental offices and our dentists can take a closer look.

2) A Tiny Hole or Pit in the Tooth

No small hole, dent, or pit in your tooth is normal. If you see any of these when you look in the mirror, there’s no mistaking that you have tooth decay. You’ll need to contact our dentists so we can determine whether a filling or dental crown is needed.

3) Bad Breath

It’s not enjoyable to be told that your breath smells. It can be embarrassing and may cause you to retreat inward for fear of being humiliated again. Aside from eating foods that have powerful odors, bad breath may be the result of a cavity.

A lack of oral hygiene can lead to food particles remaining in between teeth, around gums, and on the tongue. There, they promote the growth of bacteria which can translate to an unpleasant smell when you open your mouth.

Our dentists strongly recommend brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing regularly. You can also try integrating a mouthwash into your routine and giving your tongue a good brush to clear away leftover bacteria.

4) New Stains or Discoloration

A visible stain or discolored spot on a tooth could be from years of consuming certain foods or beverages. It could also mean you have a cavity forming. Generally, it’s best to keep an eye out for areas that appear bright white, brown, or black. Any of these could indicate decay.

When a cavity is new, a spot is more likely to show up as white. As the decay worsens, however, it will turn a darker shade. If you notice anything out of the ordinary with regards to the appearance of your tooth’s surface, please contact one of our offices.

Have a Concern? Call Our Dentists Today

Our family dentists in West Michigan want every one of our patients to enjoy a healthy smile. A cavity may not seem like much, but it can progress into a serious issue and even compromise your natural tooth. If you believe you have a cavity, we urge you to seek treatment sooner than later. Call one of our MI Smiles Dental locations today or schedule an appointment online.