What Does a Cavity Look Like?

Dental checkup for Cavity

Dental cavities are among the most typical health conditions in the world. About 90% of adults aged 20 and older have at least one cavity in their life. 1 out of every 3 Australian adults has an untreated cavity and tooth decay which is quite shocking.

While the early stages of a cavity are hard to identify, the decay can worsen and become painful if left untreated. But regular dental visits and good dental hygiene can help prevent cavities and tooth decay.

If you’re wondering what a cavity looks like and how to identify one to know whether you need to go to your dentist, then you’re at the right place. 

What Is a Cavity?

A cavity develops on the tooth’s surface, and if left untreated, it reaches the inner layer of the tooth called dentin and works its way inwards to the pulp and the nerves inside the tooth. Therefore, it forms a hole visible on the tooth’s surface.

The main reason for the cavities is poor dental hygiene, which leads to the build-up of plaque and tartar on the tooth surface. The harmful bacteria inside the plaque continue to damage your tooth, and your tooth can also get infected, forming an abscess or a pocket of pus around the inflamed tissue. It also causes severe toothache. 

How to Point Out a Cavity?

Before finding out what a cavity looks like, it’s essential to notice the symptoms of a cavity. 

If you have a cavity, you’ll experience:

  • Tooth Sensitivity

The first thing people with a cavity begin to notice is tooth sensitivity. In the beginning, you’ll have mild sensitivity. But as time passes, the sensitivity will get more severe. 

Sensitivity and pain will be especially noticeable when you eat or drink something too hot or too cold. 

  • Toothache

You can also experience mild pain in the early stages of a cavity. But if you ignore the toothache, it’ll become constant, extreme pain. 

  • Holes in Teeth

As the cavity grows, you’ll be able to see a tiny hole or pit in the tooth. That’s where the decay is happening. Make sure you visit your dentist right after you notice the cavity. 

  • Discolouration

You’ll also start to notice tooth discolouration in the form of white, brown, or even black spots or stains on the tooth. 

  • Swelling or Bleeding Gums

Your gums can look red, swollen, and even bleed, especially when you look close to the tooth line.

  • Bad Breath

Since cavities are breeding grounds for bacteria, you’ll experience persistent bad taste or bad breath. 

What Does the Start of a Cavity Look Like?

It’s challenging to spot a cavity in its early stages. But it’ll start as sensitivity, and soon you’ll see chalky or whitish spots on the tooth surface. These spots will turn brown and then black in more severe cases. Regular dental checkups can help identify tooth decay and cavity in their early stages.

How Are Cavities Treated?

Although it’s impossible to heal a cavity, you can stop the problem from worsening. Your dentist will treat the cavities by filling them with any filling material of your choice. However, if the tooth is completely damaged, it must be surgically removed. 

Ashfield Family Dental, We Prioritize Your Dental Health

A cavity might be forming in your tooth, and you won’t notice it until the damage becomes irreversible. So, scheduling regular dental examinations at least twice a year is better. 

And if you experience any toothache or want to know what a cavity looks like, you can contact our dentists in Ashfield and schedule an appointment. 

by Dr Johnson Tang

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