Cavities are relatively common in children, and as a parent, you may want to know the signs of cavities. Wondering if your child has a cavity? Here are four signs to look for:
1. The Tooth Has Visible Decay
This is generally a late sign that your child has an issue, but it's important to know what this means. Visible decay consists of black marks on your child's teeth. This can appear on both front and back teeth.
To ensure that its decay and not food, brush your child's teeth thoroughly—you may want to do it yourself rather than letting your child handle the brushing. Then have them rinse. If you still see the black marks, that's a sign that you need to contact a general dentist as soon as possible.
2. The Enamel Is Chipped
In some cases, you may see yellow spots on the tooth or cracks in the enamel. That is usually a sign of a cavity as well. However, in some cases, it may simply be damaged enamel.
It's important to note that the enamel protects the pulp of the tooth, and if it's damaged, bacteria may get into the tooth and cause a cavity. That's why you need to contact a dentist if you see this issue with your child.
3. Your Child Is Complaining About Pain
Is your child complaining about pain? If so, look into their mouth. If you see canker sores or abrasions to their mouth, that can be the cause of the issue. If not, your child may have a cavity, and the pain may be coming from that.
If allowed by your pediatrician, you can use over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen to dull the pain. You may want your child to rinse with warm salt water as well. That can help with swelling and infection until you get to the dentist.
4. Your Child Feels Sensitivity
Typically, a cavity is quite advanced by the time it causes pain, and usually, your child will feel some sensitivity first. In particular, they may feel a tingling in their teeth when they eat or drink very cold or very hot things. If your child complains about those sensations, that is not something that everyone experiences—it's always a sign of worn down enamel or a cavity.
The best way to tell if your child has a cavity is by taking them to the general dentist for exams on a regular basis. During those appointments, your child can get an oral exam and an x-ray to see if they have a cavity.
Contact a dental office like Treman & Treman Family Dental Care for more information and assistance.