How do you know if you have tooth decay or a cavity?
It can often take months for a cavity to develop. Typically we can detect the beginning breakdown of the enamel of a tooth when slight brown stains appear. These stains will eventually turn into a cavity as the bacteria and acid break through the enamel of the tooth and burrow deeper into the tooth structure. If the initial signs of the brown stain are addressed, we can prevent a cavity from forming! If you see brown in the grooves of your molars, ask your dentist if these stains are cavities already, or if they can be reversed.
Once a tooth has decay, the condition can worsen very quickly. If you already have a filling in a tooth, that tooth can still get a new cavity. Sensitivity or soreness in a tooth, or even signs of a loose filling, and bad breath are all ways to tell that you may have a cavity.
Make an appointment with your dentist right away if you have any tooth pain, even the slightest discomfort, as many dental problem progress very rapidly if left untreated.
Remember, the bigger the dental problem, the greater the cost – in time, money and discomfort.