You might assume that if there were cavities in your teeth, you would see them. People do often look over their teeth, searching for dark spots that indicate cavities. However, just because you don't see cavities does not mean you don't have any. Sometimes cavities form on the surfaces between your teeth. In fact, this is a really common area for cavities to form due to a lack of flossing. Here are some signs that you might have some of these hidden cavities.
Bad breath that does not respond to tooth brushing and mouthwash can be an indicator of hidden cavities. After all, cavities are caused by oral bacteria, and those oral bacteria can give off quite an odor as they ferment the little bits of food left behind in your mouth. If the cavity is large or deep, you may even notice a bad taste in your mouth from time to time. You may not be able to place it, and it will tend to be most noticeable in a certain part of your mouth — around the cavity.
When you sip something warm or cold, do one or more of your teeth seem to react with a sharp pain or stinging sensation? This is what happens when your nerve endings come into contact with hot or cold substances. Cavities can expose the nerve endings in parts of your teeth. You may also notice this sensitive sensation when you eat something sweet, or when you bite down at a certain angle.
Sometimes you may not have sensitivity, but you might feel a sort of aching sensation in one of your teeth or in the jaw beneath it. This aching can be due to oral bacteria coming into contact with the nerve endings. It may also be a sign that a more serious infection is beginning to form in the tooth that has a cavity. The infection could be moving down into the pulp of the tooth, in which case, you'll need not just a filling, but also a root canal procedure.
Often, cavities do present as black or dark spots on the teeth. But if you don't see dark spots, don't assume you do not have cavities. There could be hidden cavities between your teeth. Look for the signs above, and contact a family dentistry clinic near you if you experience any of them.