How Can You Tell If You Have a Cavity?

Cavities are one of the top dental health problems that people experience. This is an issue that can be seen across the board, regardless of a patient’s age. When left untreated, cavities have the potential to cause infections which can very quickly turn into tooth loss. 


Some people have a hard time recognizing when they have a cavity. This is more so the case for individuals who have never suffered from a cavity previously. Early intervention is the best approach to preventing tooth loss. Therefore, knowing the signs that a cavity might be present can save you a lot of pain and unnecessary trouble. Below are some of the most common cavity symptoms for your reference. 

Tooth Pain

Tooth pain should be a strong indicator that a visit to the dentist should be scheduled as soon as possible. This is a sign that a cavity has begun its work. It is important not to put a checkup on the back burner when experiencing toothache. 


If the cavity is in its early stages, the pain might only occur when biting down. The pain will get progressively worse as the cavity continues to eat at your tooth enamel. Remember, it is always best to book an appointment for a checkup before things escalate. 

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can be a tricky sign of a cavity. It can often manifest as a tickle or a tingle on the tooth during certain moments. Exposure to cold or hot foods and drinks tends to heighten the sensitivity. This is also true for sugary and acidic foods.


Tooth sensitivity occurs when the bacteria begins to thin down the tooth enamel. Your nerves make your teeth feel sensitive since the enamel is their protective shield. 


Using a sensitive toothpaste should alleviate the sensitivity in your teeth if it is not cavity related. In the case that sensitive toothpaste does not help, you will want to book an appointment for a checkup. It is more likely than not that a cavity is the culprit. 

Bad Breath

Believe it or not, cavities can be the cause of bad breath. The tooth decays as the bacteria penetrates the tooth and this causes bad breath. You might find that the bad breath is most prominent when you brush your teeth or scrape your tongue. You could also experience a bad taste in your mouth.

Broken or Chipped Tooth

Cavities can break or chip teeth. It is not unusual for broken or chipped teeth to continue breaking when cavities are left untreated. In some cases, the tooth gets so damaged that extraction is the only solution. We highly recommend that you get your tooth looked at immediately if you have experienced a recent break or chip.


Dark Spots on The Tooth

It is obvious when a cavity has gone untreated for a long period of time since it begins to look like dark spots on the tooth. These spots usually happen where the infection is taking place. The spots can vary in color between gray, brown, and black. This is your sign to see a dentist right away.

Holes in The Teeth

A sure sign that a cavity has progressed is when you are able to see a hole in a tooth. You can verify that what you are seeing is a hole by running your tongue through it. If it looks like a hole and feels like a hole, it’s time to see a dentist immediately. 


Keep in mind that there is a high chance of infection when the bacteria gets deep enough into the tooth. Holes usually indicate the bacteria is quite deep in there. The longer you wait to see a dentist, the worse things will get.


Cavities are one of the most common dental issues. Due to their popularity, sometimes people think that they are not as big of a deal as other dental troubles. However, cavities have the ability to cause total havoc in the mouth. If you are experiencing any of the signs mentioned above, please contact our office as soon as possible. Early detection can save you a lot of toothache, stress, and money in the long run. 


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