Signs you may have a cavity

HollowBrook Dental Colorado Springs Dentist

Your oral health is directly tied to your overall health. One of the most important ways to maintain good oral health is to prevent cavities. Unfortunately, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 30% of American adults have dental cavities that have not been treated.

This is why it is important to know the signs you may have a cavity and to schedule your appointment with the team at HollowBrook Dental Care if you notice any.

What is a Cavity?

When food debris and bacteria build up on your teeth, it turns into plaque, which can erode the enamel on your teeth. Proper oral hygiene can remove plaque but if allowed to build up, it can continue eating through the tooth, creating a cavity which is a hole in your tooth.

If left untreated, a cavity can progress and ultimately destroy the tooth or create serious complications such as an abscess, which can spread into your bloodstream and be life-threatening.  

While most common in pediatric patients, adults are still at risk, especially as they age due to gums recession.

5 Signs You May Have a Cavity

There are several signs that you may have a cavity or that an existing one is getting larger, including:

Sensitivity to hot/cold

As the enamel on your teeth wears away, it can also affect the dentin, which is the second layer of the tooth. The dentin contains microscopic tubes that lead to the pulp. If there is not enough enamel to protect the dentin, foods that are hot or cold can stimulate the nerves inside the tooth, which causes sensitivity.

Sensitivity to sweets

While sensitivity to hot/cold is one of the most common indications that you may have a cavity, so can sensitivity to sweets/sugary beverages. If you have a lingering discomfort following eating or drinking something sweet there may be damage to the enamel.


Toothache is another common indication that you may have a cavity. In some cases, the ache comes on suddenly or due to something you eat or drink. A toothache is more than just an ache in the affected tooth. Often, there is pain and discomfort in or around the mouth and some people feel pain/pressure when they bite down on something.

Tooth discoloration

Typically, the first sign of tooth decay is white spots on the tooth. As it progresses, the discoloration becomes darker. It typically appears on the surface of the tooth and may be white, brown, or black.

Hole/pit in the tooth

If left untreated, decay can progress and create a hole/pit in the affected tooth. In some cases, you can see it when you look in the mirror or feel it when you run your tongue across the tooth. However, a hole that develops in crevices or between the teeth, can’t be physically seen or felt, but pain and sensitivity can be.

Schedule Your Visit with HollowBrook Dental Today

If you have any of the above symptoms of a cavity, schedule your visit with the team at HollowBrook Dental in Colorado Springs. We offer a variety of dental services for the entire family to help you maintain good oral health.

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