Cavities are one of the most common dental problems people face, and they occur when enamel wears away and decay is allowed to develop. Some cavities can be seen by looking at your teeth in the mirror – you'll often be able to spot holes, pits or discolouration. However, interproximal cavities are also common. These form between your teeth, and many people feel tempted to ignore any warning signs simply because there is no visible sign of decay.

As such, interproximal cavities are often only picked up when dentists take an x-ray. However, it's important to have the issue treated as soon as possible to prevent tooth loss and further oral health issues. With that in mind, here are just four signs you might be suffering from an interproximal cavity.

1. Sensitivity

Once a cavity gets through a tooth's enamel, it reaches the dentin. This makes up the second layer of your teeth, and it's more prone to sensitivity. As such, interproximal cavities often result in acute sensitivity when you eat or drink anything hot or cold. Sensitivity may also be an issue when you consume anything sugary.

2. Toothache

When one of your teeth develops a cavity, it will lose some of its structural integrity and may start to irritate the pulp. This means you're likely to experience toothache. This is especially common while biting or chewing, but you may also experience a persistent throbbing pain from the affected area. An interproximal cavity is a likely culprit if this pain is localized to a single tooth. Even if that tooth looks fine in the mirror, it's worth getting it checked.

3. Bad Breath

Properly known as halitosis, bad breath is a common sign you're not properly cleaning between your teeth. Since plaque, bacteria and food particles can get lodged here without regular flossing, bad odours can easily develop. Tooth decay tends to make this problem even worse, so you may notice your breath suddenly becoming less pleasant.

4. Swollen Gums or Pus

Decay can often lead to infection, and this will be characterised by a swelling of the gums around the affected tooth. In some cases, you may notice pus coming from between two teeth. This will usually be accompanied by a poor taste that comes from one side of your mouth, and this is often easier to notice than the pus itself. When these signs develop, it's likely your interproximal cavity has become serious and demands immediate attention.

For more information, contact a local dentist.