Detecting Dental Decay: How Can You Tell If You Have a Cavity? | Blossom Smiles Dental

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Maintaining good oral health is essential for overall well-being, and part of that involves being vigilant about potential dental issues like cavities. Cavities or dental caries are areas of decay in the teeth caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria and poor oral hygiene. Detecting cavities early by your Burlington dentist can prevent further damage and save you from more extensive dental procedures. In this blog, we’ll explore the signs and symptoms of cavities and discuss how you can tell if you have one.

Signs and Symptoms

  • 1. Toothache or Tooth Sensitivity: One of the most common signs of a cavity is experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity, especially when consuming hot, cold, or sweet foods and beverages. If you notice discomfort that lingers, it could indicate decay has reached the nerves within your tooth. The treatment is often a root canal therapy performed by our local Burlington dentist.
  • 2. Visible Holes or Pits: In some cases, you may be able to see holes or pits on the surface of your teeth, particularly if the cavity has progressed. These can appear as dark spots or pits that are visible to the naked eye. However, not all cavities are easily visible, especially in the early stages, and we always advice regular check-ups with your Burlington Dentist and hygiene to always stay aware of your dental health.
  • 3. Staining on the Tooth Surface: Cavities can cause discoloration or staining on the affected tooth. You might notice white, brown, or black spots on the enamel, indicating areas of decay. Keep in mind that staining can also be caused by other factors like food or drink stains, so it’s essential to consult with our Burlington Hygienist or dentist or for an accurate diagnosis.
  • 4. Bad Breath or Unpleasant Taste: Bacteria that contribute to cavity formation can produce foul-smelling compounds, leading to bad breath or a persistent unpleasant taste in your mouth. If you find yourself struggling with chronic bad breath despite good oral hygiene habits, it’s worth investigating further with your Burlington dentist.
  • 5. Pain When Chewing: Cavities can cause discomfort or pain when chewing, particularly if the decay has progressed to the point where it affects the structural integrity of the tooth. Pay attention to any discomfort you experience while eating, as it could indicate the presence of a cavity.
  • 6. Prolonged Sensitivity to Hot or Cold: While temporary sensitivity to hot or cold substances is common and usually harmless, persistent sensitivity could be a sign of underlying dental issues such as cavities. If you find that your teeth are consistently sensitive to temperature changes, it’s essential to seek professional dental advice immediately.


Detecting cavities early is crucial for preventing further damage to your teeth and avoiding more extensive dental procedures. By being aware of the signs and symptoms of cavities, you can take proactive steps to maintain your oral health. Remember to brush and floss regularly, limit sugary foods and beverages, and schedule regular dental check-ups with our Burlington dentist and dental cleaning with our Burlington Hygienists. If you suspect you may have a cavity or are experiencing any dental discomfort, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Burlington dental care provider for an evaluation and appropriate treatment. Your smile deserves the best care possible!

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