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5 Telltale Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay can wreak havoc on your oral health if left untreated. Spot it early by knowing these 5 telltale signs of tooth decay.

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5 Telltale Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Decay

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Tooth decay can wreak havoc on your oral health if left untreated. Spot it early by knowing these 5 telltale signs of tooth decay.
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tooth decay

How well do you take care of your teeth?

Proper dental hygiene is crucial to your overall health. Often, many people mistake that dental health and physical health are separate. However, your dental health is as important as your physical health.

Studies show that more than 26% of adults in the United States suffer from untreated tooth decay. If left alone, a cavity could lead to more serious oral health issues. If you want to avoid these issues, it's essential to know their signs.

In this article, we cover five signs of tooth decay. Knowing the signs and symptoms of tooth decay will allow you to know when to seek professional help. Read on to discover more!

1. Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is one of the main symptoms of tooth decay. If you have a developing or present cavity, your teeth may be sensitive to certain things. Extreme hot or cold food and drink temperatures could cause you some discomfort.

If this pain lingers after consuming something hot or cold, you may have a developing cavity. Tooth sensitivity occurs when your tooth's enamel begins to wear away. This affects the hard layer of tissue below your enamel, called the dentin.

The dentin consists of microscopic hollow tubes. These hollow tubes are what create the lingering sensitivity you feel. When exposed, hot and cold foods or drinks can stimulate the nerves and cells in the dentin.

You may also experience a lingering sensitivity to sweet foods. If your teeth are sensitive to sweets or sugary drinks, you may have tooth decay. Sensitivity to these foods may also be a result of damaged enamel.

2. Visible Stains and Craters

Stains due to tooth decay may first look like white spots. These light stains become darker if you leave the cavity untreated. As a cavity develops, it can form dark spots on a tooth's surface.

Cavity stains may appear black, brown, or white. Holes and craters are also evident signs of tooth decay. Holes and pits usually begin to form after a cavity causes stains.

The stain may turn into a hole or pits in your tooth. You may be able to see this when you look into the mirror. Other patients feel it when they run their tongue over their teeth.

However, not all stains, holes, and pits are visible. If you have a cavity in between your teeth, you may not see or feel them. The best way to determine if you have a cavity in these areas is if you experience pain or sensitivity.

3. Pain and Discomfort

A lingering ache in your tooth may point to a developing or present cavity. It is one of the most common symptoms of tooth decay. You may feel this after eating certain foods.

Some people who suffer from tooth decay may feel sudden pain or discomfort. You may also experience this around your mouth. Other patients may find it difficult to bite down on certain foods.

You may also experience this while flossing or brushing your teeth. Pain and discomfort may occur due to the exposed layer of dentin. If you start feeling pain in your teeth, consult your dentist immediately.

4. Swelling and Bleeding Gums

This plaque can lead to various oral health issues like tooth decay. If left untreated, tooth decay could lead to periodontitis. Poor oral hygiene causes a buildup of plaque on your teeth.

This leads to gingivitis. Plaque buildup can irritate the gingiva, causing it to become inflamed. This leads to swelling and makes your gums prone to bleeding.

You may also experience swelling and bleeding gums if your cavity is near the gum line. Patients often experience bleeding whenever they floss or brush their teeth. It's crucial to visit your dentist if your gums start bleeding.

5. Bad Breath

Bad breath is another telltale sign of tooth decay. Cavities occur when bacteria in your mouth damage the tooth's surface. Harmful bacteria comes from food or drinks that you consume.

The longer they stay in contact with your tooth, the more likely you will develop tooth decay. The bacteria that destroys your teeth is also what leads to bad breath. You may also find harmful bacteria on your tongue.

If you experience swelling and bleeding in your gums, you may also be suffering from bad breath. An undiagnosed tooth cavity is often the main reason for bad breath. If you have bad breath and can't figure out why then you may be developing a cavity.

Factors That Increase the Risks of Developing Cavities

Anyone can develop a cavity if they don't follow proper dental hygiene. However, there are other factors that could increase your chances of developing cavities. Here are some risk factors that may cause cavities.

  • Tooth location, especially your back teeth
  • Consuming certain foods and drinks
  • Snacking on sugary foods or drinks
  • Your teeth aren't getting enough fluoride
  • Dry mouth
  • Weakened or worn dental fillings or devices
  • GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Eating disorders

Untreated cavities often lead to the need for a root canal. If you want to avoid expensive cavity treatments, ensure to take good care of your teeth.

When to See a Dentist

If you experience any of these cavity symptoms, seek professional help immediately. Temperature or pain sensitivity is one of the first signs of tooth decay. Stains and toothache are also crucial reasons to visit your dentist.

Your dentist will be able to determine the root cause of your concerns. They will also prescribe the right treatment to help your teeth get back in proper health.

Know These Five Signs of Tooth Decay

Untreated tooth decay may lead to expensive and painful effects. From visible stains to tooth sensitivity, here are some of the most common symptoms of tooth decay. Take note of these common symptoms and book a visit to your dentist.

Thanks for reading our article! Do you have any other concerns about your oral health? Contact us today and discover more oral health concerns to look out for.

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Tips and Tricks for Choosing the Perfect Family Dentist

Ensure everyone in your family has superb oral health by routinely visiting a family dentist. Find your perfect one with these expert tips and tricks.

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Tips and Tricks for Choosing the Perfect Family Dentist

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Ensure everyone in your family has superb oral health by routinely visiting a family dentist. Find your perfect one with these expert tips and tricks.
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family dentist

Are you looking for the perfect family dentist?

Looking for the right dentist is a must because oral health is also a factor in your overall health. Doing so is also important because over 3.5 billion people suffer from dental caries worldwide. To prevent yourself from being a part of the statistic, you best have a professional check your oral health as well as your family's.

How will you find the best family dentist, though? Check the guide we have below! We'll help you pick the right dentist to look after your oral health and your family's teeth today!

Check Their Qualifications and Certificates

The first thing you should always take a look at is the qualifications of the dentists you're checking out. They must have adequate certifications and licenses before they pass your checklist. This is important because the ADA requires them to renew their licenses every five years to be able to continue their practice.

Once that's out of the way, check their educational backgrounds. Do they come from a prestigious school? If so, how well did they perform in their class?

Doing a background check is important to know what to expect from the dentists. You want the top dental care for your family, so it only makes sense that you want the best of the best.

That's not the only thing you should check, though. You should also consider how long they've been doing their practice. Having experience in the bag isn't a bad bonus for a dentist. It only means that they're sure to be able to adapt to your family and whatever dental situation you find yourselves in.

Read Up On Reviews

To know more about your dentist, it's best to ask them questions about themselves. Of course, you can't expect them to be honest 100% while you're asking them your questions. They're looking for clients, so they'll say what you want to hear.

A good way to get unfettered truth about them is by knowing what people have to say about them. One of the signs of a good family dentist is that they have an online profile to look up. You should also see that they have reviews from their previous clients and patients.

Doing this is a great way to know what people think about their services. Having positive reviews will bode well for you since people like how the dentist helped them.

If you're still having doubts, consider asking your friends if they know anyone. Any referral you get from them is a shining endorsement. Pick people you trust as it means they'll likely think hard about their recommendation.

Consider Their Location

The location of their office should be another thing to consider. You want them to be closer to your home to be more economical with your travels. It's also safer this way because of the global health crisis going on nowadays.

It's also important as some of your family members may suffer from dental fear. Having a long drive from your home to their office only makes them grow more anxious. Short travels are essential to keep them calm when going to the dentist.

Check The Services They Offer

You should also take a look at the services that they offer when visiting them for the first time. This is important as some practitioners don't offer some services that you may need. 

A good place to start will be the history of your families. If you or your spouse needed braces growing up, the chances for your children to need them is also high. So, it's best to look for a practice that also provides orthodontics.

Your children shouldn't be the only ones you consider, too. You and other adults in your family may also need to have some dental work done. This makes it important to check if they offer orthodontic options for adults, too.

Take a Look at Their Rates and Payment Options

Having a family means that you're already investing most of your finances into keeping everyone healthy and happy. You need not burden yourself even more with what you'll spend on dental care.

While it's true that it's expensive, there are some who overprice their services. This makes it important to know the standard costs for the treatments you'll need. Compare that to what the dentist is asking for, and base your decisions around that.

You should also ask if they accept insurance. This is a great way to get what you need while cutting costs.

Check The Office Culture and Atmosphere

As mentioned above, some people are suffering from dental anxiety and fear. A good 48% of the population suffers from this, in fact. This makes it important to check the atmosphere and culture of their office.

Does it have a relaxing layout and air to it? If not, you may find yourself dealing with a fearful child along the line. Consider their surroundings and think of whether it's ideal for you and your family.

The staff and dentists must also be accommodating to further reduce anxiety. Find one that's easy to talk to and can make people feel at rest. This will make it easier for your family to get used to the idea of going to the dentist.

Take this opportunity to see if they have the latest developments in the industry on hand. Keeping in touch with technology is among the signs of a good family dentist. It means that they're active in research and in their community to bring you the best service available.

Find the Right Family Dentist Today

You need not risk your and your family's oral health anymore. With the right dentist, you'll have no problems booking appointments, visiting the office, and getting work done on your teeth! Find the right family dentist now and get ensure your oral health is in peak condition today!

Are you looking for a good dentist to check out? Contact us here and we'll get in touch with you as soon as we can! You may find the perfect dentist in your area with our help!