Decay may or may not cause discomfort; even though it doesn’t hurt, the tooth is deteriorating.
Cavities can develop from the biting surface of the tooth (occlusal surface) or from the surfaces between the teeth (interproximal surface).
Decay - Cervical
Decay - Occlusal
Decay - Interproximal
Using higher magnification and powerful lighting, it is easier to detect decay at an early stage to prevent excessive tooth damage. When cavities are small, they are much easier and less expensive to treat. If decay is left untreated the nerve of the tooth may become infected and die. This may cause an abscess.
Early tooth decay does not tend to show many physical signs. Sometimes the tooth looks healthy, but your dentist will be able to see from an x-ray whether you have any decay under the enamel or under existing fillings.