Brunette young girl cringes in pain due to a toothache from an untreated cavity

How to Know You Have a Cavity

October 31, 2021 2:36 am
Published by

When bacteria in your mouth feed upon your dietary sugar, they produce harmful acids that erode your enamel by stripping away its minerals. If your enamel is not remineralized and hardened, the weakened areas will develop into holes called cavities.

Sometimes you don’t know you have tooth decay or a cavity until you visit the dentist and they detect it via X-rays and a clinical exam. Other times, you can experience pain or changes in your tooth.


Persistent pain in your mouth is never something you want to ignore. If you’re dealing with a chronic toothache, you could have a cavity or tooth infection. You definitely want to get checked out at your emergency dentist, especially if you have sudden, intense pain, or discomfort when you’re eating.


Ever take a bite of something and feel an instant ouch? Tooth sensitivity is a sign that you may have some tooth decay. Usually it is sensitivity to particularly hot or cold foods, but it can also be sensitivity to sugar as well.

Tooth Changes

Sometimes the signs that you may have tooth decay are actually physical changes to the affected tooth. This could be something that you could feel with your tongue or see on the surface of your teeth. Changes that could indicate a severe cavity include brown or black discoloration, or visible pits in the tooth.

Notify your dentist if you experience other changes in your mouth too. For example, changes in your gums, such as darkening, bleeding, swelling, and tenderness, could indicate gum disease. Sores that won’t heal, roughened patches, and discoloration of your soft oral tissues can be signs of oral cancer.

Preventive Care in San Antonio, TX

Your child can reduce their risk of tooth decay and cavities with daily brushing and flossing, a balanced diet, and great preventive care at their pediatric dentist. Contact Safari Children’s Dentistry & Braces today to schedule their next routine visit!

Contact Us