How To Know When You Have Tooth Decay?

Healthy teeth are an indicator of balanced overall health. You can prevent painful dental conditions and complications by taking care of your teeth. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that about 30 percent of American adults are unable to treat their dental cavities because they were too late in visiting a dentist. Untreated cavities can result in tooth loss and create other serious problems. Therefore, it is essential to identify signs of a tooth cavity and immediately visit your dentist.

How Can I Identify Tooth Decay?

On the surface, identifying tooth decay may seem like an easy task, but cavities can be present in the nooks and crannies between your teeth as well. Not to mention, dentists have to check whether the tooth decay is developing or getting larger. The following signs can indicate if you’re suffering from a cavity in your tooth:

  • Hot and Cold Sensitivity

Experiencing sensitivity whenever you eat something hot or cold is a major red flag that you have cavities. The enamel protects the dentin and tooth pulp from bacteria and other substances. When enamel wears away, bacteria rupture the dentin and reach the tooth nerves. Dentin contains microscopic tubes leading to the tooth pulp. Tooth decay decomposes the enamel and exposes dentin. This enables cold and hot food to reach out to the pulp. When this happens, you’ll experience a sharp sensation that’s uncomfortable, to say the least.

  • Toothache

Consistent toothache also indicates a cavity. Many people experience pain, but they use painkillers for relaxation. This can be helpful to reduce the pain, but you still have to visit a dentist for complete care. Toothache is one of the most common signs of a cavity. Toothache can occur suddenly without any prominent reason, or you may experience it after chewing something. In both cases, the actual reason for the discomfort and pain is tooth decay.

  • Persistent Sensitivity to Sweets

Besides hot and cold food, sugary and sweet food can also cause tooth decay. In fact, sensitivity due to sweet food lingers for a while. You will feel a lingering discomfort whenever you eat or drink something with high sugar content. The sensation will be similar to temperature sensitivity, and it indicates the start of a cavity.

  • Staining on Tooth

Stains and spots on the enamel are initial signs of tooth decay. Initially, you will notice white spots, but with time they turn darker. Staining can be of different colors, such as white, black, or brown. When you identify spots on your tooth surface, you should consult a dentist for a diagnosis.

  • The Pit in Your Tooth

With time, staining turns into a pit or hole in your tooth. You can easily spot a hole in your tooth when you look in the mirror. While you can’t see holes in crevices or between your teeth, you will experience sensitivity in that area of the cavity.


When you experience any of the above symptoms of tooth decay, you should visit a dentist. A professional dentist closely identifies the symptoms and diagnoses all your teeth for minor and major signs. If you are looking for an experienced dentist for proper tooth care, you can give us a call. At Gentle Dentistry, we have a highly qualified dentist who will evaluate the area and perform various treatments to solve the problem. Want to talk with our experts? Call us now at 435-375-4276.