If you suspect that you have a small cavity on one of your teeth, you may believe that you can let it go for a little while before having it treated. However, if you start experiencing the signs and symptoms below, you should not continue to ignore the cavity.
1. Tooth's Color Becomes Darker
At the start of a cavity's formation, the area directly around the hole may only turn a slight shade darker than the rest of your tooth. Then, eventually, the area will become dark brown or black as that part of the tooth continues to decay.
This sign itself is a reason to go see a dentist so you can have the cavity treated. However, if your entire tooth starts to change color, this should prompt you to take immediate action and make the appointment.
If the entire tooth has started to darken, this means that the decay is spreading throughout the pulp. Even if you have yet to feel any pain, your tooth is dying and needs to be treated before it reaches the root.
2. Acute Pain While Eating
In the beginning stages of cavity formation, you may experience a small amount of tooth sensitivity whenever you eat or drink anything that is either too hot or too cold. This is because of the enamel has been eaten away, leaving the dentin and pulp underneath exposed.
As the cavity grows, you may start to also feel some discomfort when air hits it, especially if you breathe in through your mouth while standing outside in cold weather. However, the symptom will eventually become much worse, affecting your ability to eat. Eventually, the width and depth of the cavity can grow so large that it penetrates down to the root nerve. Just having the exposed nerve could cause a dull ache to be felt.
And because it is constantly exposed, it will become even more sensitive. At first, you may find it difficult to chew hard foods because it causes sudden pain. However, as time goes on, you may find it difficult to even eat softer foods because the pressure from chewing is too much for your tooth to handle.
If you notice either or both of the above signs and symptoms of a cavity, you should have your tooth checked out before the decay completely destroys and kills your tooth. Make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to have them examine the tooth and discuss possible treatment options before the cavity worsens.
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