Signs of decay should never be ignored. Tooth decay happens when the enamel of your teeth is softened and damaged.
If left untreated, the bacteria can cause holes or cavities to form. Those holes will get bigger, and the longer you wait the more painful it may be to get dental care. In the worst-case scenario, the affected tooth will be destroyed.
Thankfully, good dental hygiene can prevent tooth decay and cavities. It is also common to not feel any pain at all, even though cavities may be forming. Sometimes, the only way to be sure is through regular dental oral exams or x-rays.
If you notice any of the following signs of tooth decay, schedule a visit with your dentist as soon as possible. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
1. Sudden, sharp tooth pain
This is one of the most obvious signs of tooth decay and one way to monitor your child’s dental hygiene. If you have never had pains in your mouth before, pay attention when an unusual pain in your mouth begins to throb.
Bacteria and acids from the food you eat find their way into your mouth and move towards the pulp of your teeth. This inner material is made up of blood vessels and nerves, which become swollen when infected. This can be extremely painful and result in swelling of the face.
3. Sensitivity when chewing or biting
If nerves are exposed, and cavities enlarged, it can be difficult to even chew. If you find yourself subconsciously chewing on one side because of pain in the other, it’s time to get that checked.
4. Pain when drinking or eating hot or cold foods
Sensitivity to cold or hot food and drink is a common indicator of potential tooth decay. Do you experience any pain when snacking on extra sweet food? Pain when drinking sugary juice and sodas can also determine whether your teeth are starting to decay.
Brown or black spots and stains are more visible signs of tooth decay. If these colors don’t seem to go away when brushing, it means that your teeth’s outer enamel has been affected.
6. Visible holes in your teeth
Plaque attacks happen when your teeth’s minerals have been worn away. These small holes are the first stage of cavities. A quick trip to the dentist for fillings stops the holes from expanding and becoming more painful.
7. Dry Mouth
If you are on prescription medication or have other illnesses, you may experience dry sensations in your mouth throughout the day. However, don’t ignore this possible sign of tooth decay. Swish your mouth after eating, and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Treatment Options for Tooth Decay
It doesn’t matter how young or old you are: tooth decay affects everyone. Stay on top of dental hygiene with daily flossing, proper brushing habits, and a good dental check-up routine.
Good dentists are your strongest allies against tooth decay. They help you care for your teeth and keep them strong so that the enamel won’t be easily damaged. Besides relieving pain, the Main Street Dental Clinics help you diagnose tiny problems before they become huge disadvantages.
Call us today to schedule a consultation or check-up. We’re happy to help you and your family on the road to better dental health!