5 Signs You're at Risk of Tooth Decay

Health & Fitness

  • Author Victoria Gill
  • Published May 13, 2024
  • Word count 617

Taking care of your oral health may be a part of your daily lifestyle, but this does not always free you from the risk of cavities. It takes more than just brushing on schedule, flossing and regular mouthwash to be cavity-free. But how do you know if you're at risk? What are the tell-tale signs that you are more likely to contract cavities despite your efforts?

A Brief Look

A cavity is the result of a plaque build up that gradually chips away at teeth, creating a hole. Prolonging treatment can lead to serious oral health issues. You may even lose a tooth or contract a life-threatening infection. Dentists recommend rinsing with mouthwash, brushing and flossing to get rid of the food particles stuck in your teeth, which can form plaque and attract bacteria when not removed immediately. Plaque and bacteria proliferation produce acids that are capable of eroding tooth enamel.

Signs You are At Risk

There are various starting points for cavities. Individuals also need to pay attention to red flags that indicate the onset of a serious tooth decay. Here are some common signs:

  1. Sensitivity to temperature

When you eat hot or cold food, it often leaves you with a lingering sensation of pain or discomfort. Otherwise known as dentin sensitivity, this could be a sign of a cavity. This extreme sensitivity to different food temperatures may also mean your tooth enamel is already starting to erode. Below the enamel is a hard tissue layer where microscopic tubes, called the dentin, are found. The dentin easily stimulates nerve cells in your teeth, causing you to be sensitive to hot, cold and strong-flavoured food and drinks.

  1. Sensitivity to sweets

While people are commonly sensitive to food temperature, an expert from the New York General Dentistry points out that sensitivity to all kinds of sweets is also indicative of tooth decay. The discomfort lingers after you eat sweets. It takes time for the sensation to wear off and you often need to drink water to feel relief. This is the result of a damaged enamel and a cavity may have already formed.

  1. Painful teeth or gums

Pain is a clear cavity symptom. If your teeth or gums suddenly ache while eating, drinking, flossing or brushing your teeth, there is a high probability you have a cavity somewhere. When you chew on your food, you're likely to feel pressure or a sting. The ache may occur in the midst of an activity or out of the blue.

  1. Discolouration

White spots appearing on the surface of your tooth could indicate the presence of a cavity. The more serious the decay, the darker the staining on your enamel becomes. It is always evident on the surface. If your teeth start turning brown or black, or if the white spots worsen, go to your dentist right away. Drastic tooth discolouration could mean your tooth decay requires immediate treatment.

  1. Packets or holes

Since tooth decay erodes your enamel, you will know it has reached serious levels when a hole or crevice is felt when you run your tongue over your teeth. These are the areas where food particles often get stuck in and are difficult to take out without flossing. You also feel pain, discomfort or hypersensitivity in such areas.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Dentist

Any cavity concern, proven or suspected, should be brought to the attention of an experienced Canberra dentist. Do not wait for the pain, sensitivity or hole in your teeth to become unmanageable. See your dentist at the soonest possible opportunity and seek thorough treatment. Make an effort to keep your teeth intact, so you can enjoy the perks of eating and drinking well until old age.

Victoria Gill is a professional digital marketer who is currently associated with Weston Dental, a team of expert dentists in Weston Creek, Canberra. Visit https://www.westondental.com.au for more information.

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