Your oral health indicates how good your overall health is. People with poor oral hygiene and a lot of cavities often complain of other health issues as well.
So, your first step towards a healthy life should start with your mouth. You need to take good care of oral hygiene and eliminate bad oral bacteria as much as possible.
You also need to check for any cavities that need to be treated before they get any worse.
So, how do I check if I have any cavities at home?
Follow on to know how!
What is a Cavity?
A cavity, also called tooth decay or caries, is basically permanent damage to your tooth structure. It keeps spreading until it forms a hole on the hard surface of your tooth. You will start feeling extreme pain once it gets close to the pulp tissue of the tooth.
So, how does it form in the first place?
When the food you eat starts accumulating on the surface of your tooth, it forms a layer called plaque. The bacteria in the plaque layer start producing acids that can erode your tooth’s enamel.
Once the enamel layer is destroyed, the bacteria enter the tooth and the cavity continues spreading down until it reaches the pulp of your tooth. Then, you will start feeling sensitivity and a lot of pain.
That is why you should never leave a cavity untreated and you need to check regularly.
Symptoms of a Cavity
The following symptoms can be a major sign that you have a tooth cavity. So, check if you have any of them at home.
Toothache is one of the main and most common signs of dental cavities. The pain can come in different forms:
- Ongoing pain
- Pain that comes as a result of something you eat
- Pain when you bite down on food
- Sudden or spontaneous pain
- General discomfort around your mouth
Any of these types can indicate a dental cavity.
2. Sensitivity to Drinks
If you feel pain after you drink hot or cold drinks then it can be a symptom of a dental cavity.
Enamel is the outer layer of your tooth that protects it from acids, extreme temperatures, etc. So, when caries destroy your enamel and create holes in it, tooth sensitivity will appear.
This is because different foods and drinks stimulate the nerves inside your tooth causing you to feel pain.
3. Sensitivity to Sweets
Similar to sensitivity to drinks, when your enamel is weak and decayed, it can cause you to feel pain and sensitivity towards sweets or anything that contains a lot of sugar in general.
This can also indicate that you have a dental cavity.
If you notice stains on the top of your tooth surface, then it can be another indication of a tooth cavity as well.
Stains that happen because of dental caries can be white, brown, or black in color. They might first appear as white spots then start getting darker as the decay becomes more advanced.
Dental Check at Home
Of course, a dental appointment is the best way to check for dental cavities, especially hidden ones. But how to tell if you have a cavity at home?
You can easily check for dental cavities at home by using a dental mirror and a flashlight. Start looking for any tiny holes on your teeth’ surface. The holes will appear as black or brown dots.
If you found any holes, then it’s time to book a dental appointment. It is best to treat a cavity as soon as you possibly can before it gets any worse.
Take Home Message
Although cavities appear small, they can spread wider underneath that tiny dot if you left them untreated. So, if you noticed any symptoms, do not hesitate to get treatment.
Finally, prevention is better than cure. Brushing and flossing regularly are essential to keep your teeth healthy and prevent caries.