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What does a cavity look like? How to recognise a cavity in your teeth!

What does a cavity look like? How to recognise a cavity in your teeth!

Almost everyone gets a cavity at some point in their lives. What do cavities look like? And can they be seen, or do you notice them because of other symptoms, such as a painful feeling? There are a number of ways in which you can recognise cavities in your teeth. Sometimes, with the right oral care, an incipient cavity can disappear.

Can you see cavities in your tooth?

Cavities in your teeth are also known as caries. This type of tooth decay is caused by plaque. This sticky layer contains many bacteria that turn carbohydrates into acid. This attacks your tooth enamel and is the start of cavities. A cavity is hard to spot for the layman, because caries happens under the surface. If you see a discolouration or feel a bump on your tooth, it may not be a cavity. What does a cavity look like?

What are the symptoms of a cavity?

Early cavities are often hard to spot. If you’re wondering what a cavity looks like, you often won’t be able to tell until it’s well advanced. You can recognise a hole by, among other things:

  • Pain in the jaw. This is sometimes accompanied by pain in your face or ear and is a persistent pain.
  • A toothache. This is especially noticeable when drinking sweet, hot or cold drinks or when eating hot or very cold food.
  • Bad taste in your mouth and/or bad breath.
  • Dark discolouration on your tooth or white spots or a groove. These are not always cavities.

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What to look for in a developing cavity

There are different stages to cavities. In the early stages, it is still possible to prevent cavities by brushing properly with fluoride toothpaste. For most people, an electric toothbrush is more effective than a manual one. The use of interdental brushes or dental floss can also help with early caries. What exactly are the early signs of cavities and what do small cavities look like? If you have a lot of plaque on a regular basis, you know you are at risk of developing caries. This sticky white-yellow layer on your teeth is found mainly on the gum edges. An incipient cavity can often be recognised by a discolouration of the tooth. Usually, a white spot forms at the site of an incipient cavity.

To determine if you have a cavity in your teeth, you should see a dentist. The dentist looks at your teeth with a mouth mirror and a hook. Often x-rays are taken as well. Look at the picture and ask yourself: What do caries look like on an X-ray? You can recognise caries by dark spots on the x-ray.

Cavities can be recognised by the often white discolouration on your teeth. You may also experience pain when eating cold or hot foods. Further on, you may experience bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Think you have a cavity? See your dentist to prevent further tooth decay.

An early cavity can be recognised by white spots or dark discolouration on your teeth. Pits and grooves can also be a sign of an early cavity.