What are the different symptoms of tooth decay?
- Hot and cold sensitivity
- Tooth stains and discoloration
- Holes or pits in your teeth
Have you started to notice white spots along the gum line? Or even holes and cavities in your teeth? These can be signs that a tooth or even multiple teeth are starting to decay — and that is never a good sign.
However, we know that it may be sometimes difficult to spot, especially with our back molars. So we’ve rounded some common symptoms of tooth decay so that you can spot it early on.
What is Tooth Decay?
When a tooth starts to decay, that means that bacteria are already starting to attack the enamel of the tooth’s surface, slowly eating it away. If left untreated, tooth decay can progress and cause serious oral health issues, such as gum disease, abscesses, and jawbone damage.
Here are the most common warning signs for you to watch out for:
Hot and Cold Sensitivity
If you notice that one or more of your teeth suddenly start to feel sensitive when you consume hot or cold drinks or food, it could be a sign of tooth decay.
As previously mentioned, tooth decay slowly eats away at the enamel layer of your teeth. This erosion can cause heightened sensitivity to temperature changes in the mouth. When the enamel layer is worn down, it exposes the underlying dentin, making the affected tooth sensitive to various types of foods and drinks, such as those that are acidic, cold, hot, sticky, sweet, or sugary.
Essentially, the decay process begins with damage to the enamel, which allows decay to build up in the tooth.
Cavities and tooth decay come hand-in-hand since cavities start to form when a tooth starts to wear down due to bacteria.
Toothaches that come on suddenly can be quite painful and uncomfortable. They can cause pain and discomfort in or around your mouth and even lead to pain and pressure while biting down on food, which can be quite distressing.
That’s why it’s crucial to see your dentist right away and get the right dental treatment to alleviate the pain and discomfort. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to address the issue and get the relief you need.
Tooth Stains and Discoloration
There are also visible signs of tooth decay, and these come in the form of tooth stains and discoloration on the surface of your tooth. However, you should take note that many factors can cause stains as well. This includes smoking, drinking coffee or tea, aging, and certain medications.
To get to the root of the problem, you can set your teeth cleaning appointment with your dentist. They can determine what causes the stains. However, tooth decay often starts with white stains near the gums and progresses to turning brown or black.
They can be concerning because they affect the appearance of your smile, leading you to feel more self-conscious whenever you talk or smile.
Holes or Pits in Your Teeth
As we said earlier, cavities and tooth decay are very closely related. When you see a hole or pit in your teeth, that means you’ve developed a cavity. This already means that your teeth are slowly starting to decay.
However, there are holes, especially those between your teeth, that can’t be seen or felt. But that doesn’t mean you can’t feel the pain or sensitivity to the affected area of your tooth. To prevent this from further damaging your teeth, contact your dentist so they can treat the holes or pits in your tooth through tooth fillings.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay
Although tooth decay is a common dental problem, it can be prevented. The best way to avoid it is to make sure your teeth and gums are always clean and healthy.
Here’s how you can prevent tooth decay:
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Visiting your dentist regularly can make a big difference to your oral health. You’ll be surprised by what regular teeth cleaning can do. Remember, your dentist will decide how often they need to see you based on the condition of your teeth and gums. This way, you’re ensured that your teeth and gums are checked regularly.
Avoid Eating Too Much Sugary and Starchy Food and Drinks
Dentists recommended their patients avoid eating or drinking sugary or starchy food and drinks between meals or one hour before sleep.
Brush Your Teeth Properly
We’ve repeatedly stressed in our previous blog posts the importance of looking after your teeth and gums.
Make sure to brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, and use floss at least once a day.
Avoid Smoking or Drinking Alcohol Excessively
Smoking can affect your saliva production, which dries out your teeth while alcohol can contribute to the erosion of your tooth enamel.
Untreated tooth decay can lead to serious dental problems, such as gum infections and tooth loss. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of tooth decay early on so that you can visit a dentist that will treat your dental problem with ease.
Elevate Dental is the leading dental clinic in Metro Manila. We offer various cosmetic dentistry services at an affordable price. Don’t hesitate to leave us a message. Our friendly team we’ll be glad to answer your dental concerns.
You can visit our Elevate Dental branches at Bonifacio Global City and Greenhills.
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