Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Multimedia

Your dentist can usually detect tooth decay easily by:

  • Asking about tooth pain and sensitivity
  • Examining your mouth and teeth
  • Probing your teeth with dental instruments to check for soft areas
  • Looking at dental X-rays, which can show the extent of cavities and decay

Your dentist will also be able to tell you which of the three types of cavities you have — smooth surface, pit and fissure, or root.

May 30, 2014