Is your tooth suddenly more sensitive? Does it hurt when you bite down? Have you had a toothache that lasted several days? It’s easy to wonder, “Is that a cavity?” but not really know where to go from there. Here are four signs you may have serious tooth decay and need to visit a dentist.


Suddenly sensitive teeth

While sensitive teeth don’t necessarily mean serious tooth decay, sensitive teeth are often a symptom of cavities.

Dentin is the layer just below your tooth enamel, so when your tooth gets to the stage of tooth decay where the dentin decays away, it’s likely that your tooth will be more sensitive. If you notice that suddenly your tooth is more sensitive to hot and cold foods or sweet foods, it may be a sign that you have a cavity.


Bad breath

While cavities don’t necessarily cause bad breath, cavities can make bad breath worse. Since cavities are small holes in your teeth, bacteria is more likely to get stuck in cavities and accumulate. These pockets of bacteria make it harder to keep your mouth clean, which means it’s harder to keep your breath fresh. So if you notice that your breath suddenly seems stinkier, it may be time to stop wondering if you have serious tooth decay and instead contact your dentist’s office to know for sure.


Is that a cavity if I suddenly have a toothache?

If you notice that you suddenly have a persistent toothache, it might be a sign that you have a cavity. Minor toothaches can be the result of gum irritation, like having a small piece of food stuck between your teeth. But if you have a toothache that lasts more than several days, it may be a sign that your toothache is a symptom of a cavity.


Visible holes or brown stains on teeth

If you suddenly notice a visible hole or pit in your tooth, it may be a symptom of serious tooth decay. Or if you notice that your tooth appears to have a brown, black or white stain on its surface, that could also mean that a cavity is the culprit.


What to do if you think you have a cavity?

If you think you have serious tooth decay, you may be scared and wonder what to do next. First, don’t panic! Cavities are very common, and we’re happy to help you out of your dental pain. Second, contact the team at Schumacher & Bauer, and we can chat through your symptoms to decide if it’s time to come into our office.