7 Warning Signs of Tooth Decay

ToothTooth decay is one of the most frequently occurring dental diseases. We all deal with some level of decay at some point in our lives. That's because bacteria in our mouths convert sugars into acids that damage our teeth. Some of the foods we consume are also acidic, leading to more damage to our enamel.

That's why it's so important to brush twice a day and floss almost as often. Brushing and flossing remove plaque, food particles, and bacteria from your mouth, giving your teeth a much-needed reprieve from corrosive acids. Brushing regularly also prevents plaque from turning into tartar which houses the bacteria that are responsible for the corrosive acids manufactured in your mouth.

You should visit a dentist twice a year for professional teeth cleanings. This removes hardened tartar from your teeth and gives your dentist an opportunity to examine your mouth. It's a lot easier to combat tooth decay when treatment starts early.

Here are seven warning signs of tooth decay that you should be aware of:

1. Persistent toothaches

Vicious toothaches are often an indicator of tooth decay and the list of issues that come with it. As the enamel of a tooth is eroded, the nerves become exposed. These nerves are meant to be protected inside your tooth's cavity, and they are easily aggravated when exposed.

2. Sensitivity when chewing

This also arises as a result of unprotected nerves. When you eat, food particles come in contact with the nerves, leading to pain. In addition, these food particles can become stuck inside the cavity, so they are in contact with the nerves for extended periods. The bacteria in your mouth eventually break this debris down to sugar, causing pain.

3. Discolored tooth

If one of your teeth has a different color than the others, it's typically a sign that it's dealing with decay and perhaps even an infection.

4. Bad Breath

Bad breath isn't always a result of poor oral hygiene habits. It can be the result of tooth decay. If you brush your teeth twice daily and still end up with dragon breath or a bitter taste in your mouth, chances are you have tooth decay.

5. Tender gums

When a tooth is compromised, it's common for the gums around the area to be inflamed. Sometimes, this swelling can spread to the neck and jaw area.

6. Poor appetite

When your teeth aren't in great condition, you don't enjoy eating as much. It takes forever just to chew your food properly, and there's often some pain involved. Then, you have to spend 5 to 10 minutes after eating to remove the food particles that get stuck in your cavity.

7. Fever

A fever can also be a sign of tooth decay. It typically occurs when the tooth in question becomes infected. A root canal treatment is usually required at this point.

Dealing with tooth decay? Contact a dentist to find out what your options are.

Request a dental appointment here: https://www.oaktreefamilydental.com or call Oak Tree Dental at (703) 763-5239 for an appointment in our McLean dental office.

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