Catch Cavities Early? Look For These 6 Signs of Tooth Decay

Some people think their teeth will fall out if they have a cavity. But, unfortunately, it couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, as family dentists, we see this issue every day – children can get cavities, too, and adults may require extensive treatment or lose all their tooth enamel because of it.

In this article, we will learn what exactly goes into creating dental care plans for you based on signs or symptoms associated with tooth decay. So, read below carefully before booking an appointment.

What is Dental Cavity?

Tooth decay is a widespread occurrence. The usual reason for this is the food we eat and the lack of oral hygiene. Bacteria find their way onto our teeth through too much sugary food or drinks. They combine with saliva and acid to form plaque, which can erode your tooth enamel.

If left untreated, this plaque can form a hole in your teeth, resulting in many complications like abscesses and infections.

Tooth decay is a major dental problem that can be prevented by practising good oral hygiene. You should brush two times a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss every night before bedtime and visit your dentist on schedule for routine check-ups because they’re vital in preventing further issues from developing into something much worse.

The area that is most vulnerable to plaque includes:

  • Your gum areas
  • In between teeth
  • Grooves and Crevices of your teeth

6 Signs of Tooth Decay

Six common signs that indicate your tooth decay and formation of cavities are as follows:

1. Toothache

Toothaches are one of the most common issues our dentists hear from patients with tooth decay. The pain can vary in intensity, but it is usually dull nagging and manifests as soon as you bite down on something sharp like an apple or ice cream cone! So if your discomfort appears suddenly after eating dinner tonight- don’t wait another minute before heading over so we can help eliminate this problem.

2. Teeth Sensitivity

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity when eating or drinking something cold like ice cream, it may indicate that your teeth contain traces of decay. The lack of enamel means there’s not enough protection for the sensitive areas on top and this stimulation causes pain!

3. A Hole In Tooth

Tooth decay is a severe issue that can have devastating consequences if left unchecked. A hole in your tooth signifies the presence of cavities. Bacteria create these holes as they eat away at dental enamel and make spaces for themselves. When you run your finger over these pocks or feel them with minimal pressure from everyday activities, such as smiling less often than usual- then it’s time to take care because there might be more going on below surface level.

4. Bad Breath

Bad breath is not just a sign of dementia but rather an indication that decay has set into your teeth. The bacteria responsible for this condition can penetrate deep within your mouth and leave a terrible taste after you brush, causing bad breath.

5. Gum Problems

Gum issues are not uncommon for patients dealing with cavities. You may have swollen and bleeding gum, or there might even be an ooze of pus which could mean the infection has set in. You should visit a dentist immediately if this occurs. It will give them time to get rid of any pesky bacteria before it causes more damage.

6. Teeth Staining

Stains on your tooth may first appear as white spots. Then, as the decay becomes more advanced, it can turn brown and finally black or darken in colouration over time to represent what’s happening under there – but not always!

A cavity also causes stains that appear consistently throughout any given area affecting colour appearance while lurking within spaces between enamel layers. Cavities may seem minor at these locations, making them especially vulnerable to treatment options.

Do you know? Your Diet can affect your oral health.

How To Fight Against Tooth Decay?

The fight against tooth decay can seem overwhelming, but there are some simple steps you should take to protect yourself.

  • Brush your teeth two times daily with fluoride-containing toothpaste
  • Establish a regular flossing routine that includes cleaning between each of the 22 front permanent incisors at least once daily for best results!
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the course to prevent dry mouth, which may increase the risk of having a cavity
  • Avoid sugary drinks and food items
  • Have a balanced diet
  • Visit your dentist after six months for professional cleaning

Book An Appointment with Timeless Smiles

Tooth decay is an issue and can cause many other complications if left untreated. At Timeless Smiles, our expert dentists recommend practising good dental hygiene to avoid this. In addition, if you notice any pain, sensitivity, or discolouration on your teeth, we advise making an appointment with a family physician to make the treatment less invasive.

Having your child see the dentist regularly can help them avoid many issues in adulthood. It is because it’s vital for their development of good dental habits from an early age, which will create better overall mouth health and reduce potential problems down the line!

With a focus on oral health, the team at Timeless Smiles Dental will attend to your needs. If you want more about how we can help or have questions, contact us today at (02) 8073 8386 or email us at dentistry@timelesssmiles.com.au.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

What are the four causes of tooth decay?

The four leading causes of tooth decay are sugar, acid, bacteria, and time. Each of these factors can damage the teeth differently, but when they all work together, the result is cavities.

Sugar is probably the most well-known cause of tooth decay. When you eat something sweet, the sugar coats your teeth and feeds the bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria then produce acid as a by-product, which erodes your tooth enamel over time. In addition, the sugar in these foods and drinks fuels the plaque bacteria, which produces acid that attacks your teeth.

Acid can also cause tooth decay by wearing away your enamel. It is mainly a problem with drinks like sodas and sports drinks high in citric or phosphoric acid. The acid present in these drinks can erode your tooth enamel, making them more susceptible to decay.

Failing to floss and brush your teeth regularly allows plaque bacteria to accumulate and form acids that attack your teeth.

I have a dental cavity. Can a cavity heal itself?

There is a limited amount of research on this subject, but it appears that cavities can sometimes heal themselves, though it is unclear how often this occurs.

There are a few cases where cavities have been known to heal themselves. A cavity can heal itself as long as it is not too deep and has not damaged the underlying tooth structure. If the cavity is treated early, before any damage to the tooth structure occurs, the natural healing process will repair the cavity.

If a cavity has caused damage to the tooth structure, it may not be possible for the natural healing process to repair the damage completely. In this case, a dental filling may be necessary to restore the tooth’s normal function and appearance.

One study found that cavity-causing bacteria were eliminated from dental plaque in over two-thirds of children studied after only six months of following a sugar-free diet. Therefore, it is possible that if the bacterial environment that causes cavities is not favourable, then the cavity may not progress. However, if left untreated, cavities will continue to worsen and could require treatment, including a filling or root canal.

Can you stop tooth decay once it starts?

Yes, we can stop tooth decay from progressing and even reverse it in some cases, but it requires early detection and treatment.

Tooth decay results from a bacterial infection that starts in the tooth’s enamel. If left untreated, the bacteria will eat away at the dentin and eventually reach the tooth’s nerve, causing pain and potential tooth loss.

Depending on its severity, there are several ways to stop or reverse tooth decay. The most common treatment is a dental filling, which fills the hole where the bacteria has eaten away at the tooth. Other treatments include root canal therapy or extraction of the tooth. Prevention is always better than treatment, so be sure to see your dentist for regular checks.

Why do my teeth keep rotting even though I brush them?

There could be several reasons your teeth rot, even though you brush regularly. Cavities can form when acids in your mouth eat away at your teeth’s enamel.

Bacteria in your mouth also produce plaque, a sticky film that contains bacteria. If you don’t brush your teeth properly, plaque can build up on your teeth and cause tooth decay.

Gum disease is another problem of tooth decay, as it can make it challenging to keep your teeth clean and healthy. See a dentist if you’re concerned about your oral health. They can help you find the source of the problem and develop a treatment plan to address it.

Some common causes of tooth decay include:

  • Not brushing teeth often enough or thoroughly enough
  • Eating too many sugary or acidic foods and drinks
  • Smoking or using tobacco products
  • Drinking too much alcohol

If you have any of the habits, you must see your dentist as soon as possible for a check-up and to begin treatment. In the meantime, try to avoid eating acidic and sugary foods and drinks, and brush your teeth at least twice daily.

Why am I suddenly getting cavities?

There can be some possible reasons why you might be getting cavities. One possibility is that your oral hygiene has turned worse, and you’re not brushing and flossing as often as you should be.

Another chance is that you’ve started eating more sugary foods and drinks than you used to, which can cause tooth decay. Finally, it’s also possible that you’re experiencing some hormonal change, such as pregnancy or menopause, which can make teeth more prone to cavities.

If it’s a while since your last dental check-up, schedule an appointment with your dentist and get an opinion on what might be causing your cavities. They can help you come up with a solution.