Common Tooth Decay Symptoms


Tooth decay symptoms are one of the most common oral issues dentists deal with. It can cause significant damage to a person's teeth, and it can even lead to teeth falling out. Tooth decay can be caused by a variety of things like a bad diet or practicing poor oral hygiene.

One of the most common causes of tooth decay are the acids in the foods a person eats and those created by the bacteria in the mouth. These microorganisms feed on food particles that are left on teeth after meals. They excrete acids afterward, and these start breaking down the protective layer of teeth called the enamel.

Common tooth decay symptoms

Tooth decay can be more difficult to detect in its early stages, but it becomes more apparent as the damage progresses. Common symptoms of tooth decay include:

1. Toothaches

Toothaches are one of the first tooth decay symptoms to appear. It begins when a portion of enamel has been damaged by decay. These leaves the inner layer of the tooth called the dentin exposed to irritants in the mouth like bacteria, saliva and food particles. When the acids created by the bacteria in the mouth make their way into the dentin, the person experiences pain.

2. Cavities

Cavities are another common symptom of tooth decay. These are holes that are created as the acids in the mouth eat away at the insides of the tooth. Cavities can be treated with fillings or composite resins. These materials are molded into the hole and used to seal it. This helps to restore its function, and it prevents acids and bacteria from getting into the hole and causing further damage.

3. Bad breath

When the integrity of a person's teeth has been compromised, it is common for them to have bad breath. Bacteria and food particles become stuck inside the cavities created by decay, and some of this debris can stay inside a tooth for weeks at a time. It is hard to have fresh breath when pieces of food that were consumed weeks ago are still stuck inside a person's tooth.

4. Tooth sensitivity

People who are dealing with tooth decay often experience increased sensitivity. This is due to the fact the dentin is exposed to the temperatures of the food and beverages being consumed. There are a wide range of over-the-counter products that can be used to reduce tooth sensitivity.

5. An infection

A tooth infection is often a sign of advanced tooth decay. When a cavity goes untreated, it eventually makes its way into the pump chamber. This is where the nerve and blood vessels of the tooth are stored. Once the pulp chamber is exposed to the bacteria in the mouth, an infection often follows.

Root canals are the first line of defense against an infected tooth. It allows the dentist to remove all the decayed matter and treat the infection without having to extract the tooth.

What are you waiting for?

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Charvet Dental Center, request an appointment in our Metairie dental office here: Or call us at (504) 208-4751.

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