Tooth decay or dental caries is one of the most common bacterial infections that affect the teeth. Such decay results in the dissolution and destruction of calcified and organic components of the teeth. The condition is characterized by primary tooth decay symptoms, which should be immediately identified and dealt with.
Why Tooth Decay Symptoms Should Be Spotted Quickly
In most cases, tooth decay goes unnoticed till the advanced stages as it’s a chronic condition that’s relatively painless in the beginning. If such decay is detected early, its progression can be interrupted and the tooth structure can be restored with proper treatment.
Five Tooth Decay Symptoms You Should Note
Here are the five tooth decay symptoms that you can detect on your own, without the help of a physician.
Discoloration Of Teeth
Check to spot any form of discoloration in your teeth in front of a mirror, because this can give you a fair idea about your dental health.
An initial lesion usually causes a chalky white discoloration on the surface of the teeth. Brownish black pits or fissures on the biting surfaces or at the sides of the teeth indicate tooth decay.
Bad Breath (Oral Malodor)
Rotten teeth play host to a gradual decay of the organic components (tooth pulp), so you will often experience bad breath while exhaling.
The cavity formed due to the causes of tooth decay provides enough room for food material to get lodged. When the food that’s stuck in the tooth cavity undergoes decay, it produces bad odor, which is one of the most prominent tooth decay symptoms.
Alteration In Taste Perception
Tooth decay is characterized by the increased presence of putrefying bacteria in the oral cavity, which can cause an alteration in taste perception. As the condition worsens, you may constantly experience a foul taste in your mouth and bad breath. These symptoms are especially active in the morning, after you wake up from a good night’s sleep.
Increase In Sensitivity
Demineralization of the enamel (the outermost layer of the tooth) exposes the passages of nerve endings (dentinal tubules), causing increased sensitivity to cold or hot food items.
Increased sensitivity is one among the common tooth decay symptoms. If you experience a sharp and painful sensation in the teeth while consuming hot or cold drinks, dental caries is the usual suspect. As the tooth continues to decay, the pain progresses from mild to severe levels. Severe pain usually indicates the extension of the infection into the tooth pulp.
Changes In The Surrounding Tissues
In advanced cases, the infection can spread to surrounding tissues such as the gingiva, alveolar bone, and periodontal ligaments. When left untreated, the condition can result in serious complications such as Ludwig’s Angina, Osteomyleitis, and Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis.
The Need For Proper Dental Care
It is always wise to detect dental caries early and interrupt the progression of the disease right during the initial stages through tooth decay treatment options. Tooth decay is an irreversible condition, so it has to be restored by a qualified dentist. In its initial stages, it can be treated by simple cavity preparation and filing, whereas the advanced cases that involve the pulpal tissue are treated with root canal treatment, which is quite complicated and expensive.
Following proper oral hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly can help in maintaining good oral health and keeping such diseases at bay. You should be well informed about the various tooth decay symptoms and seek medical advice as soon as you spot them.