According to a 2019 report by The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, 90% of adults in the United States have had a cavity. The CDC also states that 1 in 2 (26%) of adults in the US have untreated tooth decay. Leaving tooth decay untreated can lead to a deep cavity.
What is a Cavity?
A cavity — or tooth decay, as it is also known — is a hole in the enamel of a tooth caused by your teeth being attacked by sugars and acids. Cavities start off small and become bigger the longer they are left untreated.
Signs You Have a Deep Cavity
Unlike small surface cavities, deep cavities can cause a lot of problems and pain if left untreated. Here are seven signs you could have a deep cavity.
1. Unexplained Pain
You may have a toothache or spontaneous pain that can not be explained. The pain will likely happen without any warning.
Pain when eating or drinking hot, cold or sweet things could be a sign of a deep cavity. You may also feel that the tooth (or teeth) are generally very sensitive, and it may also be painful when you bite down or chew.
3. Bad Breath/Taste in Your Mouth
Bad breath, a foul taste in your mouth or tasting copper could be a sign of decay. We all have morning breath, but if your bad breath is constant, then it’s time to be checked out. Your breath on the whole should be quite neutral. The copper taste could be from blood in your mouth. All of these can be a sign of a deep cavity and possibly gum disease, which will also need treatment.
4. Puss/Lump on Your Gum
Puss or a lump on your gum could be a sign of an abscess — an infection caused by deep decay. If you are experiencing difficulty breathing, bleeding, pain or facial swelling, this is classified as a dental emergency and you should seek help immediately.
5. Broken Teeth
Cavities will weaken your teeth. The longer they are left untreated, the weaker the teeth become. Eventually, the teeth may fracture and break completely. If your tooth is broken, it has likely been caused by a deep cavity. The sooner you seek treatment, the better it is for the tooth’s prognosis.
6. Discolored Teeth
Black, brown or gray spots on the teeth are a sign of cavities. It could also just be staining, but staining can lead to decay. So, getting the teeth checked if you see any discoloration is important.
7. Visible Holes
Noticeable holes or pits in your teeth may be a sign of decay. The bigger the holes are, the more likely it is that they are deep cavities.
Ways to Prevent Deep Cavities
Good oral hygiene and a balanced diet are essential for preventing deep cavities. Take a look at these six tips on how to prevent cavities.
When Should You Visit Your Dentist?
If you have any of the signs and symptoms described above, then you should make an appointment to see us as soon as possible. Our highly qualified dentists can give you a check-up, take x-rays and discuss the best course of treatment for you. We have appointment times to suit your schedule, and we look forward to seeing you at an office near you.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Oral Health Surveillance Report 2019
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Oral Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Adult Oral Health
American Academy Of Periodontology — Gum Disease Information