Commonly Overlooked Symptoms of Tooth Decay

Cavities are a bacterial infection that is best treated as early as possible. Left unattended, decay can spread into a tooth’s nerve or adjacent healthy teeth. The sooner it’s treated, the smaller (and more affordable) the restoration process is.

Unfortunately, some of the most common symptoms of cavities are easily overlooked. Aside from scheduling regular checkups and X-rays with our Phoenix dentist, here are some warning signs to be on the lookout for:

Pain When Biting — Sometimes teeth with cavities will experience soreness or discomfort when pressure is applied. Biting forces exhort some of the heaviest muscle tension in the body, so it’s no surprise that your teeth might hurt if you have a cavity on one of them. When you’re eating, pay attention to see if the discomfort is coming from a particular area of your mouth. If there’s a sharp jolt at a specific point, make Dr. Babak Behbahani aware of your symptoms as soon as possible. 

Something Feeling “Off” — Occasionally the most obvious cavity symptom isn’t obvious at all. Rather it’s that something about your bite just seems off. Whenever you’re biting or chewing, it may be that a particular area sends a twinge or that teeth are hitting differently than they used to. Although the difference can be extremely slight, your body can still pick up on them.

A Rough Edge — Cavities create physical holes inside of your tooth enamel. When that happens, it leaves a rough edge in the outer layer of your tooth. Rubbing your tongue over the area, you might feel a slight roughness that wasn’t there before. Or perhaps the sensation just stands out from the teeth around it. Your tongue may seem like a bulky, clumsy muscle, but it’s actually quite sensitive. If you tend to bring your tongue to the same spot over and over because of a rough patch, it could be a cavity.

Floss Catching on Something — Just like the rough edge you can feel, those same surfaces may be hidden between your teeth. If you’re flossing each day (this is where we remind you that you’re supposed to be doing that daily!) and the floss is catching or shredding between two specific teeth, something is going on in that space. It might be a cavity or something else, such as an older restoration that’s starting to leak.

What About Pain?

Not all cavities cause toothaches. Typically, the first thing you’ll notice is sweet sensitivity. But people tend to assume that if they don’t eat candy, they won’t get cavities. Candy isn’t always the main source of our sugar intake. Coffee creamer, diet soda, juice, and sweet tea can be just as bad on your enamel.

If you notice pain or sensitivity whenever you’re eating or drinking something sweet, it’s a red flag for tooth decay.

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