While fewer kids are getting tooth cavities, about 43% of children between the ages of 2 to 19 have one or more cavities. If you have children, there’s a high chance you’ll be taking them to the dentist at some point in their life for tooth pain and wondering what the symptoms of cavities are. However, tooth pain doesn’t always equate to cavities.
The symptoms of cavities can sometimes be subtler than pain in the jaw. For this reason, it’s important to know all the varying signs behind tooth decay so you can keep a watchful eye.
The health of your kid’s teeth is essential to their overall health. While we were ignorant of the link between mouth health and body health a decade ago, times have since changed.
Now we know that poor oral hygiene can lead to things like heart disease and diabetes. This is why preventing tooth decay is imperative to the health of your children as they grow. If cavities are left untreated, they can destroy the teeth and even fester and become infected. In some severe cases, this can lead to life-threatening conditions.
There are multiple signs that’ll hint at the start of a cavity. Here are some of the most common signs your child may have a cavity:
1. Hole or Pit in the Tooth
Sometimes teeth that aren’t cleaned often enough will form white spots.
This white spot could be an indicator that a cavity is forming. If the white spot is left to persist, it will eventually worsen into a hole or pit in your tooth.
In some cases, these holes or pits can form between your teeth or in crevices where you can’t see or feel them. However, just because you can’t see or feel it doesn’t mean there won’t still be pain or sensitivity around the affected area.
If there’s a hole or pit in your child’s tooth, you’ll need to make an appointment with your dentist at once. This will not heal on its own and will require the attention of a professional pediatric dentist in Arlington.
A stain on your child’s teeth may first appear as a white spot. If the white spot is left to worsen, the tooth decay progresses and leads the white spot to darken.
Staining caused by the formation of a cavity can range in color from black to white. It always starts on the surface of the tooth and works its way deeper.
Once the decay has found its way deeper into the tooth, the pain will start to radiate from the affected tooth. This is because the tooth is now suffering nerve damage as decay sets in. If stains are present, take your child to an Arlington pediatric dentist.
3. Sensitive to Hot and Cold
If there’s a sensitivity that affects your child’s teeth after eating or drinking hot or cold products, they may have a cavity.
Sensitivity is caused when the enamel of the tooth weakens. As this happens, the dentin is affected. The dentin is softer than enamel and porous.
When there’s not enough enamel left to protect the dentin, hot and cold stimulates the nerve inside the tooth. This is because the enamel acted as a type of shield. Without the shield, extreme temperature changes can pass through the dentin to the cells and nerves. This leads to the sensitivity and pain felt.
If your child is experiencing sensitivity to hot and cold, book an appointment with a kids dentist in Arlington.
4. Sensitive to Sweets
While it’s most common to experience sensitivity to hot and cold if you have a cavity, sweets can also do this. Sugary drinks can also cause this reaction if there’s a cavity.
This functions the same way as with hot and cold drinks and food. With the enamel gone and the dentin vulnerable, sugar overstimulates the cells and nerves, which then causes pain.
When sweets start to give your child a toothache, look for a pediatric dentist in Hurst or Arlington, TX.
This is the most classic symptom that hints at a cavity.
If your child is complaining of a toothache and it has persisted for several days, this is most often the result of a cavity. Pain is the leading complaint behind cavities.
A toothache can come on fast with no warning or can occur after eating something. Sometimes the jaw area may also be affected by pain and discomfort.
Is Your Child Showing Symptoms of Cavities? Get to a Dentist
Preventative care is your best defense against your child getting cavities.
Your child’s first dental visit should come after they turn one year old. Even babies still growing in baby teeth are susceptible to developing cavities. Babies that fall asleep with a milk bottle in their mouth are most at risk.
After the one year mark, your child should start the routine of seeing a dentist every year. This is the best way to ensure your child grows up with a sparkling smile.
By taking your child to a dentist at a young age, you’ll be able to detect problems at an early stage before it turns into something more severe.
Teaching your child how to practice good dental hygiene is the biggest factor in preventing cavities. This should involve your child brushing their tweet at least twice a day and then flossing.
Drinking water each day will also help to rinse their teeth. It even boosts the flow of saliva. Many people don’t realize that having a dry mouth leads to cavities.
Preserve Their Smile
Keep your child’s smile safe and healthy by taking them for regular checkups at a dentist’s office. By using preventative care, you won’t have to worry about symptoms of cavities cropping up.
Make sure your child always brushes their teeth in the morning and before bedtime. They should also floss each time as a toothbrush is unable to reach into the crevices between teeth. Finally, have them drink plenty of water, not only because it’s healthy for them, but because it also helps rinse away lingering food and sugar on the teeth.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, your child may still develop a cavity. The Arlington kids dentist at Park Place specializes in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics. Park Place also has a Hurst pediatric dentist office.
If your child is suffering from one of the symptoms we’ve covered, contact us today to make an appointment.