Some cavities are easy to spot. They often develop on the chewing surfaces of teeth and appear black, gray, and or even dark brown. You may even recognize it before your dentist does! However, other cavities can be tricky to identify on your own, specifically when they occur between your teeth.
With such tight spaces, how can you tell that you have a cavity between your teeth? Usually one of the following three signs happens.
You Have Tooth Sensitivity or Pain.
Although tooth sensitivity has several possible causes, a developing cavity is one of them, and this symptom can progress to tooth pain if it goes untreated.
Underneath the protective enamel shell of your tooth lies a more sensitive layer called dentin. Tooth decay erodes enamel, and the infection penetrates to the dentin, triggering an unpleasant, uncomfortable response when you have hot, cold, or sugary foods or drinks.
If your sensitivity does turn into pain, you should contact your dentist for an emergency appointment as soon as possible. There is no need for you to suffer with tooth pain when the cause, potentially a cavity between your teeth, can be taken care of.
Your Floss Catches.
If you do not floss on a daily basis, food particles and plaque can build up between your teeth. This allows enamel-eroding bacteria to have easy access to this area. The acids bacteria produce can create small holes in your protective tooth structure to the point that when you do floss it catches or gets temporarily stuck in the cavity.
In other words, if you suddenly have trouble flossing in one particular area of your mouth, it could point to a small or developing cavity between your teeth.
Your Dentist Finds the Cavity with an X-Ray.
A cavity hidden between two teeth can be difficult to see with the naked eye, even for a trained professional. Often, it is only through bite-wing X-rays that decay in these tiny spaces can be identified.
In order to catch these cavities as early as possible, you need to visit your dentist on a regular basis—at least every six months—for a checkup and cleaning. This routine appointment ensures that cavities are discovered and treated and eliminates plaque to prevent future cavities from developing in the first place.
Although cavities between teeth are less visible, fortunately you are not alone in trying to spot them. Your dentist is your greatest advocate and has the training to recognize when decay is happening between teeth. Through your own diligence in oral hygiene at home and your regular dental visits, you can make sure that any cavities between your teeth are addressed before they cause you serious harm.
About the Practice
At Pioneer Greens Dentistry, Dr. Chris and Dr. Claire Haag have been serving the Lincoln area for many years. Through continuing education, they stay up-to-date with the latest technology and use digital X-rays to capture what the naked eye cannot see. They also have the training to handle both mild and advanced cases of tooth decay. If you think you have a cavity or want to prevent one, you can reach out to us through our Contact Us page or call us at 402-483-7502.