Posted by Dr. William Yoo
We all know tooth decay is bad but will we recognize it when we see it? Tooth decay is caused by acid produced by the buildup of plaque on the teeth. Plaque contains millions of bacteria which can eat away at the teeth over time, causing tooth decay, as well as a host of other potential problems such as gum disease and abscess.
By learning to recognize the symptoms of tooth decay you can make sure the problem is addressed as soon as possible, before it gets worse and results in further damage to the teeth and gums. Symptoms of tooth decay include:
A toothache due to tooth decay could be a constant, dull ache, or occasional sharp pain. While you can treat the pain with over-the-counter painkillers, any continual dental pain should be examined by your dentist as soon as possible as it can be indicative of a much larger problem.
If you have tooth decay, you may begin to experience tooth sensitivity. This sensitivity can occur when eating or drinking, and often happens with very hot, cold, or sugary foods.
Spots on Teeth
If you notice any grey, black, or brown spots on your teeth, it’s highly possible they are caused by tooth decay.
Everyone has bad breath occasionally, but if you’re noticing that you have bad breath that won’t completely go away, even after brushing or using mouthwash, it can be a sign of a more persistent problem.
Bad Taste in the Mouth
Like bad breath, tooth decay often causes a persistent, bad taste in the mouth that you can’t get rid of easily. If this taste doesn’t go away after eating, drinking, brushing, or rinsing, it can be a sign of tooth decay or a different dental problem.
If you are experiencing any of the above systems, it’s very important to seek dental help. Sometimes, tooth decay occurs because the patient has avoided seeing the dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. It’s very common, and nothing to be ashamed of, to have fear or anxiety associated with seeing the dentist. However, it shouldn’t be a reason to sacrifice your oral health.
For those patients who are anxious about dentistry, speak to your dentist about the possibility of sedation dentistry. As the name suggests, during sedation dentistry the patient is sedated to ease any fear, discomfort, or anxiety. If you are concerned about your teeth but nervous about the dentist, ask about sedation dentistry today.