Cavities are one of the most common health problems that humans suffer from. Anyone who has teeth is at the risk of getting a cavity, including you!
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 adults aged between 20-64 suffer from at least one cavity. This figure is quite surprising and concerning at the same time.
Well, most people are suffering from cavities due to a lack of knowledge. That’s why it’s vital to know how to tell if you have a cavity? If the issue is recognized at an early stage, it can be treated without any significant problem. And this article is going to help you with that. Keep reading.
What Are The Causes Of Cavity?
Before diving into the causes of the cavity, let’s first quickly understand what exactly a cavity is?
Cavities, also known as caries or tooth decay, are considered permanent damage that happens on the hard surface of the teeth. It develops a hole in the tooth. If left untreated, it can cause severe complications and may even wholly damage the affected tooth.
The most common cause of the cavity in teeth is the build-up of plaque. When we consume a lot of surgery food and don’t clean it up properly, it becomes the food for the bacteria, which ultimately builds plaque on our teeth.
First, the acid of plaque attacks the outer layer of our teeth, known as enamel. There it forms tiny holes. After destroying the enamel, the acid and the bacteria reach the next layer known as dentin. It continues destroying the tooth and reaches the inner layer known as pulp. There it causes the nerves to get swollen, which worsens the cavity. Extreme pain can occur in this condition.
However, apart from this, there are also some other causes of cavities, including:
- Too Much Brushing – If you brush more than needed, you unknowingly damage the enamel layer of your teeth. It can make your teeth more prone to getting affected by bacteria, ultimately causing tooth decay.
- Genetics – Yes, genetics can also be a reason for tooth cavities. According to the American Dental Association, around 60 percent of tooth decay cases are connected to genetics.
- Dry Mouth – Dry mouth allows the food elements, bacteria, and acids to stay in your mouth for a long time, ultimately leading to tooth decay.
- Poor Dental Hygiene – Not caring for your teeth properly can be extremely harmful. It increases the risk of cavities and some other serious diseases like diabetes, cancer, bone loss, inflammation of blood vessels, high blood pressure, etc. So, always make sure to brush your teeth properly twice a day. Try using an electric toothbrush as it cleans the teeth and gums in a much better way. You can buy one from here.
So, How To Tell If You Have a Cavity?
Here Are 5 The Signs That You Need Your Attention!
Here are some signs that indicate you have a cavity.
Discoloration or Holes In The Tooth
If you notice discoloration, holes, white spots on your teeth, the chances are high that it’s a cavity. However, it can also be a natural strain. In this case, you should take professional help because they are the ones who can spot the issue and begin the proper treatment.
Want to remove white spots on your teeth? Check out these excellent methods!
Trouble In Chewing Food
If you are experiencing pain while chewing your food, there is something wrong with your teeth. It can indicate many diseases such as cavities, infection, inflammation, or crack in the tooth.
To find out what exactly is causing the pain, visit your dentist as soon as possible.
Toothache is one of the most common signs of the cavity. When the cavity is in its early stage, you may feel very mild or maybe no pain at all. This is something that makes it difficult to spot a cavity. However, if you are experiencing mild or extreme pain, don’t ignore it. Reach out to your dentist to get relief.
Otherwise, if you leave it untreated, it can turn into more severe pain. So, make sure to take professional help, even if it’s a mild pain.
Bad breath is another common sign of a cavity. Cavity creates a hole in the tooth where food particles can get stuck, which leads to bad breath. Not only bad breath but also bad taste in the mouth can occur.
There can also be other causes of bad breath, such as dry mouth, poor dental hygiene, medications, etc. Visit your dentist to find out the actual cause of the bad breath.
Teeth Becoming Sensitive To Cold or Heat
Sensitiveness in the teeth is known to be one of the most common signs of a cavity. When you have a cavity in your tooth, the protective layer ‘enamel’ gets damaged, leading to sensitivity in the tooth when exposed to extreme temperatures—for example, drinking hot tea, coffee, or cold water.
This sign is mainly experienced in the early stage of the cavity. Visit your dentist if you have experienced it.
How To Get Rid Of Cavities at Home?
Yes, you can also try some home remedies to help your cavity. Here are some of the most effective remedies.
Apply Clove Oil
If you are having pain in your teeth, this remedy is for you. Clove oil contains anti-fungal, antiseptic, and anti-bacterial properties, which are very helpful in getting relief from toothache.
Take a cotton swab and put one or two drops of clove oil on it. Apply it to the affected tooth. You will start feeling relief from the pain as the oil gets soaked by your teeth. Apply it at least 2-3 times a day.
Eat Foods That Are Rich In Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays a significant role in keeping our teeth healthy. Not taking enough vitamin D can increase the risk of cavities and other health issues too.
The best source to get vitamin D is the sun. But if you cannot step out for some reason, utilize other sources of vitamin D. For example, eat foods rich in vitamin D, such as eggs, fish, milk, or you can also take supplements.
Drink Green Tea
Yes, green tea can also help you in a cavity. It contains properties that kill bacteria. It also helps in reducing the plaque and acid in the saliva.
Gargle With Salt Water
Saltwater contains antiseptic properties which can help in the cavity. It can destroy the bacteria that has formed the infection in the teeth. It’s also been noticed that many oral health professionals recommend their patients to gargle with salt water to reduce the infection in the mouth.
Take a glass of warm water, add salt, and gargle with it after having your meal.
Say No To Sugary Food
Many studies have found that consuming sugary foods regularly can increase the risk of cavities. The World Health Organization also says that sugar is the leading risk factor for our teeth.
If you still want to consume sugary food, make sure not to do it throughout the day. Because if your teeth, especially the enamel layer, constantly get exposed to sugar, they don’t get a chance to remineralize. Try to have that sugary food only once a day and allow the enamel layer to get remineralized.
When To Visit Your Dentist?
If you are having constant pain or any other issue that is not going away, even after using the home remedies, it’s time to visit your dentist.
Remember – You should visit your dentist regularly, not only when you feel pain. It will help in recognizing any issue in your teeth before it turns serious. Go for regular dental checkups once every six months.
Children, Adult or Old Age People, Who Is At More Risk Of Getting Cavity?
Usually, everyone who has teeth is at the risk of getting a cavity. But still, the amount of risk varies from person to person.
Children and teenagers are known to be more prone to having a cavity. In the United States, cavities have been found very common in children and teenagers.
Old-age people are also at the risk of having a cavity. Because as they grow older, the strength of their teeth reduces, making them more inclined towards tooth decay. Older people also consume medicines more frequently, which can cause dry mouth, ultimately affecting oral health.
However, the risk of cavities can be decreased if we follow the habits that help our teeth stay stronger.
Habits To Follow To Keep Your Teeth Healthy And Strong
Mainly, cavities are developed because of some habits that we perform in our daily lifestyle.
Here we mention a few habits that you must follow to keep your teeth safe from any disease, not only a cavity.
Let’s get started with the most basic one.
Brushing helps in removing the plaque from your teeth. Whenever you brush your teeth, make sure to use the proper technique. Don’t just randomly move the brush on your teeth. Always move it in a circular motion in a gentle way. Do it at least for two minutes.
Make sure to brush your teeth at night too. Many of us try to neglect brushing our teeth at night, which negatively affects our teeth in the long term.
Lastly, don’t forget to clean your tongue with the brush because plaque builds upon the tongue.
Click here to check out the deep cleaning teeth method.
Floss Your Teeth
Floss your teeth at least once a day. It will help in removing the plaque that is hiding between the teeth. It hides in a place where the toothbrush bristles can’t reach. That’s why you need to give importance to flossing just as brushing. Do it only once a day, and you will be good to go.
You can buy one dental floss from here.
Use Mouth Rinse
It’s highly recommended to use a fluoride mouth rinse. Use it only once a day to strengthen the enamel layer of your teeth. It will also help in cleaning any food particles or plaque left after brushing and flossing.
Limit The Sugary Foods And Drink
Sugary foods and drinks are considered a significant risk for our teeth because they damage the enamel layer of our teeth. As you already know that it’s the layer that protects our teeth from bacterias. But when it’s damaged because of our food, the risk of oral health problems increases. So, try to limit the sugary food in your daily lifestyle if you want healthy teeth.
Use The Flouride Toothpaste
Generally, dentists recommend using toothpaste that contains fluoride. It helps in strengthening the enamel layer of the teeth and also stops the development of tooth decay.
Fluoride toothpaste is considered safe for both adults and children. Just make sure to use it correctly.
If you have doubts about the safety of fluoride toothpaste, talk to your dentist. Also, if you are suffering from thyroid, consult your dentist before using the fluoride toothpaste.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Along with the habits like brushing and flossing, dental cleanings and regular dental checkups also play a significant role in keeping your teeth healthy.
Also, watch this fantastic video on oral care habits by Fit Tuber.
Frequently Asked Questions
Along with ‘how to tell if you have a cavity?’ there are also many other questions people have asked. You may also have some in your mind, have a look:
Final Words | How To Tell If You Have a Cavity?
A cavity is a common health problem and can occur in anyone who has teeth.
Sensitivity, pain, trouble in chewing, discoloration in the tooth are some of the most common signs that appear when you have a cavity. It can become more severe with time if left untreated.
Whenever you feel something wrong with your teeth, visit your dentist as soon as possible. If the treatment gets started in the early stage, then probably the treatment will go smoothly, and you won’t have to suffer that much.