Regardless of age, maintaining good oral health is essential. People are more susceptible to oral infections as they get older. The protective enamel on teeth erodes more quickly as they age, making cavities easier to form. Let’s find out more about this prevalent dental condition and how to determine if you have a cavity.

What Is a Cavity?

A cavity is a hole in your tooth. Cavities most frequently develop in the spaces between your teeth. When flossing, you specifically clean this region. Cavities form when oral bacteria release acids that eat away at the tooth’s rigid enamel surface. The softer layers of the tooth can become more deeply affected by cavities over time, leading to pain, swelling around the affected area, an infection or abscess in the tooth and gums, and even the loss of some or all of the tooth. 

How Do I Know If I Have a Cavity?

The telltale signs and symptoms of tooth decay vary depending on the number of teeth involved, the location and intensity of the pain, and other variables. Minor surface cavities may not initially present any symptoms, but as they worsen, you may encounter the following:

  • White spots on the surface of the tooth indicate early tooth decay
  • Brown or black spots on the surface of the tooth suggest developing tooth decay
  • Visible holes or dents in the tooth enamel
  • Sensitivity or toothache in a pronounced area of a tooth
  • Generalized toothache or jaw pain
  • Pain when eating or drinking, especially hot, cold, sugary, or sour items
  • Pain when biting down or chewing food


To help stop cavities from forming, it’s critical to watch for any of these symptoms and take preventive action. Toothaches vary significantly from one another. Contact our team to schedule an appointment if you have a cavity.