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Cavities or dental caries form when enough acid builds up and begins to erode the thin layer of enamel over your tooth. Everyone dreads getting a cavity, but all too often, they creep up on us when we least expect it. Before we know it, we’re stressed out at the dentist getting multiple cavities filled. Cavities begin with no symptoms at all and grow worse over time if left to their own devices. So it’s important to pay close attention to any unusual symptoms and brush your teeth twice a day.

Increased sensitivity 

Having trouble with sugary food, hot or cold beverages? Tooth sensitivity doesn’t have to mean a cavity, but it’s something to take note of. You can try brushing with toothpaste for sensitive teeth, using antibacterial mouthwash, and switching to a soft toothbrush. If these steps don’t alleviate the sensitivity, it’s probably time for a dental checkup.


Toothaches are a dreaded warning sign that a cavity might be getting worse. But toothaches can also signal something is stuck in the tooth, the tooth has chipped, or the tooth is infected. Especially in the instance of chronic toothaches, it’s important to get to a dentist right away so they can find out what’s wrong.

Pain when biting down

Cavities can sometimes cause pain while eating, especially if you’re eating something crunchy or difficult to chew. Tooth pain is never something to ignore, even if a cavity isn’t the cause. If not a cavity, pain when biting down may also indicate a cracked tooth, a dental abscess, an impacted tooth, or even sinus issues.

Visible dark spots 

When you look at your teeth in the mirror, you generally want to see white! However, white spots on teeth can be a sign of mineral loss, which is an early sign of tooth decay. Black or brown spots may also be a sign of a cavity. However, cavities come in various shades, so if you’re experiencing this in conjunction with any other symptoms, it’s best to get to a dentist. 

Visible holes

A clear sign of a problem is when you spot a small hole in one of your teeth. Even if a hole is not yet a cavity, the opening creates a vulnerability for more damage to your enamel. Not all cavities are painful, so it’s important to take any visible holes seriously, even if it seems like no big deal. 

When cavities are left to develop far too long, they become more dangerous, even causing swelling and fever when severe. If you suspect you have a cavity, don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes cavities can happen even when you’re doing your best to keep your teeth free of plaque and bacteria. Just schedule a dental appointment right away. With modern dental filling technology, cavities are not nearly as troublesome as they once were.

Need a dentist’s appointment? Pearly Whites is a Morrisville Dental Care practice serving your area. Request an appointment through our website today.