Tooth Decay

5 Warning Signs of Tooth Decay You Shouldn’t Ignore

Maintaining oral health is important to keep all our teeth and prevent bad breath. Most importantly, maintaining oral hygiene is important to help prevent cavities, a type of tooth decay, which can lead to oral complications.

Sometimes the signs of tooth decay are not always obvious. In fact, over 90% of Americans have had or will have cavities at some point in their lives. Most people are not aware they have oral problems, leaving 30% of those people leaving caries untreated.

Untreated cavities are the worst, and the best defense you have at regaining power in your oral health is to be aware when a problem exists. Keep reading to learn how you can identify tooth decay and get it treated.

  1. There Is Staining on Your Tooth

Most people are aware that deep yellow stains are something you want to address. However, they are not the only stains you want to watch out for. You also want to look out for white stains.

Oftentimes, people will dismiss white stains as harmless, but they are only the first stage of enamel destruction. The more your teeth erode, the darker the color will be. Over time, it will become brown or black if you do not visit a dentist.

You also want to watch out for brown, grey, or back spots that appear on or between your teeth. These spots are markers that dental decay is already taking place. These spots have the potential to grow larger, but you may also develop more spots on the same tooth or other teeth.

  1. You Have a Hole in Your Tooth

White spots or stains on your teeth can also be a sign you are in the beginning stages of a cavity. When these stains advance, they can create holes in your pits in your teeth. While it can happen on any tooth, your molars (especially the upper molars) are most likely to be affected.

Most of the time, you will be able to know you have a cavity because you can run your tongue across the surface and feel the groove. You must fill these cavities so the holes do not grow larger. Speak with a dentist to determine whether you should get a dental crown vs filling.

Not everyone will have cavities they can see or feel. There are times holes can hide between your teeth or in crevices that will make it hard for you to notice.

However, their presence will still let you know you have a cavity because you will notice pain and sensitivity. If you are having a tough time differentiating what is normal and what is not, do not be afraid to set up an appointment for a dentist to check.

  1. You Are Sensitive to Hot or Cold Foods

Eating a cold ice cream cone or attempting to drink hot coffee are not markers for food sensitivity. You should consider being sensitive to hot or cold foods when you notice the sensitivity lingers after you consume it.

If you finish food or a beverage that is hot or cold and you still feel a throbbing sensation minutes or hours afterward, you may already be in the beginning stages of tooth decay or have a cavity.

Once the protective enamel on your teeth begins to erode, the foods and drinks you consume affect your dentin. Dentin is a hard tissue that is below your enamel and contains hollow tubes that can stimulate the nerves and cells.

Once you expose even a bit of your dentin, you will notice unusual sensitivity to foods and may even find it hard to brush your teeth. You should refrain from eating or drinking sticky or sweet foods as well because they can make the problem worse by clinging on to your teeth.

  1. You Are Experiencing Toothaches

Most people should not and do not experience pain or aches with their teeth unless there is a direct stimulus involved. In the event you have ongoing problems with toothaches, you may have an active infection or a cavity.

Toothaches are a common symptom of cavities and they can come and go. The pain can extend to your gums and around your mouth as well. Most people may notice the pain when they are eating, especially when they have to put pressure to bite down on certain foods. Others may notice toothaches while they are brushing or during random times of the day.

  1. You Often Have Bad Breath or an Unpleasant Taste

When you fail to brush your teeth often enough or you eat certain foods, you will experience some form of halitosis or bad breath. You may want to start worrying about the bad breath if you notice it continues to linger no matter what you eat or after you brush your teeth. It will seem as if nothing you do can keep your breath fresh.

The bad breath happens because of cavities. Cavities are caused by bacteria that emit waste, contributing to bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth. If these bacteria continue to multiply, the tooth decay and symptoms will get worse.

Do Not Shake off Any Signs of Tooth Decay

A lot of people hate going to the dentist to receive a regular check-up. However, regular visits are best to make you fully aware of your health. You do not want to visit a healthcare professional when things are at its worst.

While it is helpful to meet with your dentist regularly, you should always check your teeth on a regular basis for signs of tooth decay when you can’t. If you’re dealing with a tooth sensitivity problem, you have bad breath, toothaches, stains, or a hole in your teeth, do not shrug the issue away. You can prevent things from getting worse by getting treatment as early as possible.

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