You may never want a dentist to tell you that you have a Cavity. But before that, you may have a question what does a cavity look like? The cavity is a hole in your teeth that happens by decay that develops over time. It is difficult to know cavity till you discover some symptoms which become hard to ignore. 

Get all the details about cavities through this blog. 

What Are Cavities?

what does a small cavity look like


Cavities are portions of the teeth that have been irreversibly damaged and develop into little apertures or holes. They are also known as tooth decay or caries; these happen because of a combination of factors such as caused to a number of causes including oral bacteria, frequent snacking, drinking sugary beverages, and improper tooth cleaning.

Cavities may not always be visible; thus, you must visit the dentist regularly for your routine check-up. Your dentist may use special dental equipment to find the cavities to catch them at the early stage. 

Symptoms of Cavities

what does a small cavity look like


Sometimes, you don’t even know what does a small cavity look like? At that time, it is important to visit a dentist. But you may not always need a dentist to know if you have cavities. You can check for particular symptoms to help guarantee that you aren’t developing cavities or already have them.

Keep an eye on these signs; it will help you to catch the early cavity:

1. Teeth Sensitivity

When you experience pain while consuming hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods or drinks, it is a symptom of cavities.

2. Discoloration or Dark Spot

If you see a dark spot on your tooth or a different color on your teeth, then it is a sign of a cavity. 

3. Swelling or Bleeding Gums

Your gums could appear raked, red, or swollen, particularly at the tooth line. Your gums may even be bleeding a little.

4. Bad Breath

Various foods can cause bad breath, but if it does not go even after brushing your teeth, it is a sign of gum disease.

5. Toothache

You could find yourself sticking your tongue against your teeth because it is hurting or throbbing. When you eat anything really hot, cold, or sweet, the pain may get worse.

6. Hole in the Tooth

If you see a tooth hole, it is also a symptom of cavities. If there is a large hole or crack, you may easily feel it with your tongue. 

7. Pain

If you have cavities, then you may face pain in your tooth. You may face problems chewing the food. You may even find brushing your teeth or flossing particular areas difficult.

8. Food Is Getting Stuck in the Tooth

If suddenly the food gets stuck in your tooth, it is a symptom of cavities. 

Also Read: What Are Cankles? Remedies, Causes, Treatments

What Does a Cavity Look Like?

What does a Cavity Look Like


If you have a question that what do cavities look like? Then here we will answer this question of yours.

Cavities come in various shapes & sizes. The size of the cavity will depend on the duration of its presence and the damage it has caused. 

What Does the Starting of a Cavity Look Like?

What does a Cavity Look Like


In the early stages, it is difficult to see the cavity. Some cavities begin with the enamel of your tooth appearing pale or chalky. A darker shade of brown or black may be present in more serious cases.

How would you know that you have a cavity when there are no signals? Timely X-rays at the dentist’s clinic can help spot tooth decay that can lead to a cavity. 

What Does a Cavity Look Like on the X-ray?

What does a Cavity Look Like


They all seem radiolucent and are found on the surfaces of the roots. This indicates that they are frequently below the level of the enamel.

The cavity starts below the radiopaque spot in between the teeth. You may see it as a dark spot under the white enamel.

How to Prevent Cavities?

It is very difficult to prevent cavities. However, some ways or tips can help you prevent cavities and keep your mouth healthy. 

You can follow the below practices to prevent cavities:

1. Regular Brushing and Flossing

What does a Cavity Look Like


To maintain good oral health, you must brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once daily. With fluoride toothpaste, there are huge chances to prevent cavities. 

Brush slowly and properly, not just for the sake of doing it. Brush for at least one minute.

2. Drink a Lot of Water

What does a Cavity Look Like


Water is very crucial for overall health. It may rinse away the food and bacteria that can lead to cavities. Drinking a lot of water in a day will keep your mouth healthy and free from cavities.

Also, when you drink a lot of water, then it will keep the bad breath away. So, there are multiple benefits of drinking water. 

3. Avoid Sugary Foods

What does a Cavity Look Like


To keep the cavities away, you must be careful about the foods you eat because sugary foods can lead to cavities. In case you take sugary foods, you need to brush properly so that all the sugar goes out of your mouth. 

4. Avoid Acidic Drinks

What does a Cavity Look Like


Drinks high in acid can lead to cavities; the reason behind it is that the acid weakens the tooth enamel. If you want to prevent cavities, avoid drinking soda, coffee, or alcohol. 

5. Eat Tooth-healthy Foods

What does a Cavity Look Like


Whatever you eat will have an impact on your oral health. When you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, your teeth will stay healthy and strong. Fruits and vegetables also have saliva, which is crucial for keeping your mouth clean.

6. Avoid Constant Snacking and Sipping

What does a Cavity Look Like


If you consume snacks throughout the day and drink soda, you continuously expose your teeth to plaque-causing sugars. Dental cleaning is essentially undone by this, increasing your risk of developing cavities.           

Statistics for Cavities

As per the American Academy of Pediatrics, by age 11, around 60% of people will face cavities in their teeth, and 21% will have cavities in their permanent teeth.

In adults between the ages of 20 & 64, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reports that over 91% of individuals have cavities in their permanent teeth.                        

For youngsters between the ages of six and 19, cavities are the most prevalent chronic illness. The data is per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Many American citizens struggle with untreated cavities and tooth decay:

  • 13.2 percent of youngsters aged 5 to 19 had untreated dental caries (2015-2018).
  • Adults aged 20 to 44 who have untreated dental caries make up 25.9% of the population (2015-2018).


What Cause Cavities?

The following are the causes of cavities:

1. Plaque Formation

If you eat a lot of sugary foods, including starches, then plaque will form on your teeth. Plaque is a transparent, slightly sticky film. If you hadn’t brushed your teeth in a while, you might have felt it on your teeth.

When plaque turns into tartar, also known as calculus, it becomes more difficult to remove and serves to protect the bacteria that initially form plaque.

2. Continue Destruction of the Tooth

If nothing is done, tooth erosion will eventually reach the pulp, which is the innermost component of the tooth. All of the blood vessels and nerves are located here. Bacteria can make the pulp inflamed and swollen. 

The pressure from the swelling may result in extreme pain. At this stage, pain may even elevate to the bone above or below the tooth.

3. Attack of Plaque

The minerals in enamel, the tough outer layer, are eaten away by the plaque on the teeth’s surface. Tiny holes may open up in the enamel, which are the earliest forms of cavities. Plaque bacteria and acids have an easier time advancing toward the dentin. Microtubules in the dentin link to the underlying nerves.

When to See a Dentist?

It is important to visit the dentist at regular intervals. One needs to get regular check-ups of your teeth. Generally, the American Dental Association suggests visiting a dentist once or twice a year. 

You need to visit the dentist whenever you experience any change to your teeth or face swelling. 


1. Can You Brush Away the Cavity?

It is not possible to brush away the cavity. Once the cavity is developed completely in the tooth, it becomes impossible to reverse just by brushing the teeth. The early stages of the cavity can be reversed by flossing and following good brushing practices.

2. What Time Will It Take for a Cavity to Destroy a Tooth?

How rapidly a cavity can ruin a tooth is not time-bound. Most often, years of untreated dental decay result in significant tooth destruction.  

3. Does Filling the Cavity Hurt?

The answer to this question is – No. The majority of the tooth fillings will cause no or little pain. 

The reason behind it is the usage of numbing agents during the procedure. 

Final Thoughts

At last, we would say that cavities can destroy teeth. Thus, it is important to be considerate about it. Make sure you visit the dentist regularly so that if you face any problem, it can be caught early.

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