Top Signs of a Cavity By Bruce Wilderman on May 29, 2019

Graphic shows top of molar and tooth-colored fillingEven patients with good oral hygiene habits can develop dental caries (cavities). The build-up of plaque attracts bacteria, which then damage the tooth’s enamel, creating small holes that grow over time.

Dr. Bruce Wilderman treats cavities with dental fillings at our Philadelphia, PA practice. Once the decay has been removed and the cavity has been filled with tooth-colored composite resin, you enjoy the cosmetic and oral health benefits of a restored tooth. Here, we discuss the top signs of a cavity so you can seek treatment if you suspect you have a dental problem.


Patients may experience pain that is spontaneous, lingering, or intermittent. Other patients report heightened tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, or mild or sharp pain when eating or biting.

A toothache is typically a sign of a dental problem. If you experience tooth pain or sensitivity, schedule a dental exam so a dentist can determine if you have a cavity.

Chronic Bad Breath

Chronic bad breath is another common symptom of a cavity. Dental bacteria release gases that have a foul odor, which is why persistent bad breath can develop with a cavity.

By removing all signs of the infection, including decayed tooth material and dental bacteria, and placing a dental filling, we can restore fresh breath.

Cosmetic Issues

Cavities can result in visible pits on your teeth. It can also cause tooth discoloration, like black or brown patches on the surface of your tooth that cannot be brushed away.

Inflamed Gums

A severe cavity can cause gum tissue swelling and bleeding when brushing or flossing. This may be a sign that the infection has reached the inner structures of the teeth.

If you have inflamed gums, schedule an appointment at our Philadelphia practice as soon as possible so we can check for cavities or gum disease.

No Symptoms

It is possible to develop cavities without experiencing any symptoms. That is one reason why regular exams and cleanings are critical to catching cavities early.

Cavity Risk Factors

Some of the leading risk factors for cavities include:

  • Tooth location: Cavities are more common in the grooves and biting surfaces of the molars.
  • Diet: Individuals who eat diets that are high in sugar and starches are at a higher risk for developing cavities.
  • Poor oral hygiene: Individuals who do not brush their teeth twice a day, floss regularly, and visit their dentist for cleanings are at risk for developing cavities.
  • Heartburn: Acid reflux disease can accelerate enamel decay.
  • Worn fillings: If you have not had your old and worn fillings replaced, further decay can occur.

Treatments for Cavities

Dr. Wilderman offers tooth-colored fillings made from composite resin to treat cavities. Tooth-colored fillings improve the structural integrity of your tooth. The fillings also seamlessly blend with your natural teeth.  The placement of dental fillings is a quick and pain-free procedure.

Dr. Wilderman will numb the damaged tooth. Then, he will remove the decayed portion of the tooth. Once the area is completely cleaned, the composite resin will be applied and then hardened using a special light. The hardened dental filling will then be polished so it blends with your natural teeth.

Contact Our Office Today

If you exhibit any of the signs of a cavity, we encourage you to contact our Philadelphia office immediately. To schedule your next oral exam, please contact our office online or call (215) 340-1199.

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Dr. Wilderman on cover of suburban life

Artistic Expressions Dentistry

Dr. Bruce Wilderman has been providing comprehensive cosmetic dentistry services since 1986. By combining a true sense of artistry with state-of-the-art technology, he can provide stunning results. At Artistic Expressions Dentistry, we are proud to be affiliated with:

  • The American Dental Association
  • The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

For more information about our services, contact our practice online or call (215) 340-1199 today.

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