Is Your Tooth Showing Signs of Decay?

By: Dr. Ernest De Paoli


Commonly referred to as a cavity, tooth decay can occur when bacteria-filled plaque builds up on the surface of a tooth, ultimately eroding enamel and causing damage within the deeper structures of the tooth. If left untreated, cavities can lead to a host of more serious complications, including the loss of a tooth, tooth abscess, and even life-threatening sepsis. Here, you’ll find helpful information from leading dentist Dr. Ernest De Paoli of Advanced Smiles in Frisco, TX on how to recognize the early signs of tooth decay, what to do if you suspect a cavity, and how restorative dentistry can help to repair the form and function of your smile following tooth decay.

What are the signs of a cavity?

Because cavities often go undiagnosed and can quickly progress into a more serious condition, it is critical that people familiarize themselves with the signs of tooth decay. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of a cavity include:

  • Pain: Perhaps the most frequent sign that you may have a cavity is a toothache. With cavities, tooth pain often gets worse at night and may prevent you from sleeping comfortably. The pain may be dull, sharp, or throbbing.
  • Sensitivity: Another classic sign of tooth decay is tooth sensitivity, particularly to hot, cold, and sugary foods and beverages. While many people experience mild or intermittent sensitivity from time to time, having intense, long-lasting sensitivity that is clearly isolated to a particular area may be a sign that you have a cavity.
  • Bad breath: If you have developed a foul taste or odor in your mouth without another obvious explanation (and particularly when accompanied by other symptoms of a cavity), it may be related to tooth decay and bacteria.
  • Stain on tooth: Having a white, brown, gray, or black spot on the tooth is often a sign of underlying tooth decay that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
  • Hole in tooth: Many patients are able to feel or even see the depression or hole in their tooth caused by tooth decay and erosion. In some cases, cavities are mistaken for a chip on the tooth’s surface, while holes caused by cavities between the teeth are imperceptible.

How are cavities treated?

If you suspect that you or your child has a cavity, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible to avoid further decay, worsening symptoms, and more extensive damage. For early or mild tooth decay, a filling may be an appropriate and effective treatment option. For larger cavities, it is often necessary to remove the damaged tooth material, insert a filling, and cover the tooth with a custom restoration, such as a dental crown.

This help to protect the tooth from further damage and restore a more natural appearance when the tooth has become visibly stained or compromised. Whether your cavity is treated with a filling or a custom dental crown, it is important to maintain good dental and oral hygiene – including visiting the dentist for regular exams and semi-annual cleanings – in order to help prevent future tooth decay.

Prevent damage with advanced cavity treatment in Frisco, TX

While most cavities can be prevented, some tooth decay may be unavoidable. Regardless of the cause, nature, or severity of your tooth decay, Dr. Ernest De Paoli and the caring team at Advanced Smiles are here to help, with a complete range of general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services to give you the strong and beautiful smile you deserve. If you think that you may have a cavity or are looking to revise a previous cavity treatment with a new, custom-made crown, call Advanced Smiles in Frisco, TX to schedule your consultation today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.