Have you ever had a tooth cavity? Hurts...right?!Most people will be unaware of a cavity forming in their tooth. The earliest signs of a cavity will be a small chalky white spot on the surface of their tooth. This is where tooth enamel is demineralizing and is referred to as a white spot lesion, or "micro cavity".
In some cases, at this early stage, cavities can be reversible, but left untreated, the white spot will quickly progress and turn brown. This is indicative of the demineralization process and in some cases can rapidly occur.
At this point, your tooth enamel and dentin become destroyed and the cavity will be more noticeable. The affected areas of the tooth change color and become soft to the touch.
Once the cavity reaches the nerve, most people will know they have a cavity!
What are the signs of a cavity?
- pain or sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.
- sensitivity to sweet drinks
- tender when biting down or applying pressure to the tooth
- bad breath
Below is a photo montage that shows the rapid progression of a tooth cavity.
How to prevent tooth cavities
- Oral hygiene - daily brushing and flossing!
- Change your diet! Cut down on sugary drinks, eat foods high in calcium
- use a fluoride toothpaste
- Visit your dentist twice a year for routine preventative dental exams