What does a cavity look like? | Causes & Treatments

Patients often ask us, “What does a cavity look like?” Knowing you have a cavity is bad news for your oral health. But your dentist can treat it with dental fillings. Gradual tooth decay can cause small holes in your teeth, known as cavities. The worst part about them is most people don’t notice them until it becomes severe. Let’s discuss what cavities look like so you can get them treated on time.

What is a cavity?

A cavity is a small hole in a tooth caused by tooth decay. It can develop anywhere on your teeth, including multiple locations at once.

What does a cavity look like?

A dental cavity can range in color from brown to white and eventually black as it grows. Initially, it looks similar to stains that develop on your teeth’ outer surfaces. The shape of a cavity changes as it grows in depth and width. The symptoms and their intensity will continue to increase as it grows in depth and size. If left untreated, tooth decay will eventually affect your tooth nerve, resulting in a severe and painful tooth infection that requires urgent care by a professional. If it infects the nerve, you can no longer treat it with a simple filling. Rather, you will need to undergo a root canal procedure right away.

Potential symptoms of tooth decay or a cavity include:

  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Pain while chewing
  • Bad breath
  • Sudden pain sensation
  • Chipped or broken tooth
  • White, brown, or black staining

Causes of Getting Cavities

The process starts when you consume too many acidic drinks and sugary foods. Bacteria in your mouth feed and prosper because of acids and sugars. This wears down your tooth enamel over time. As a result, teeth will lose their vital minerals, and so, you’ll notice small holes in your teeth.

Luckily, you can stop and reverse tooth decay and save your natural tooth. Additionally, the enamel can re-mineralize on its own with the help of saliva. But this isn’t possible if you have developed cavities due to their permanent damage to teeth. The only option is to let a dental professional handle the case.

Treatment for Cavities 

Dentists can treat and fill your cavities with one of the following procedures, depending on how much damage has been done.

  • Tooth filling
  • Bridges
  • Implants
  • Root canal treatment

Preventing Cavities

As your reliable dentist in Katy, we believe prevention is better than cure. You can prevent cavities by maintaining good oral hygiene. You need to avoid consuming too many acidic and sugary foods so that harmful bacteria don’t get enough chances to damage your teeth. On the other hand, you should use fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly. Fluoride, saliva, and water help restore vital minerals in your teeth.

If you or a family member is experiencing tooth decay or cavities, feel free to visit Katy Cypress Oral Surgery & Implant Center. Give us a call at 281-667-0607 to schedule an appointment. Our team of dental professionals is ready to help you!

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