Tooth decay or cavity is one of the most common dental problems in the United States and other parts of the world. Unfortunately, this problem leads to other serious oral complications, including tooth loss and gum infections. So, you need to do everything possible to avoid tooth decay. But how do you know you have tooth decay? This article offers you the most common symptoms of tooth decay.
What is Tooth Decay?
Commonly referred to as a cavity, tooth decay occurs when your tooth enamel gets eroded by acids produced by the bacteria in the plaque that forms on the surface of your teeth over time. This plaque is a sticky film that builds up on your teeth and gums when you fail to brush and floss your teeth regularly. If you don’t get rid of this plaque immediately, it will damage your enamel and cause tooth decay.
Tooth decay begins as a tiny hole in your tooth and continues to expand, eventually destroying your tooth. If left untreated, tooth decay will lead to serious problems, such as tooth abscesses and infections that may end up in your bloodstream. Such infections are life-threatening.
Symptoms of Tooth Decay
Apart from visible holes in your teeth, there are several other important signs you should look for to know if you have tooth decay.
If you suffer from teeth sensitivity when you take anything hot or cold, you probably have cavities. In most cases, this sensitivity doesn’t go away quickly. Once your enamel wears away, it affects your dentin, a hard layer of tissue sitting right beneath your enamel. When this layer comes into contact with anything hot or cold, the cells and nerves inside your teeth are stimulated, causing severe sensitivity. Sometimes you’ll experience this sensitivity when you take something sweet.
A chronic toothache is a major sign of tooth decay. Any pain in your teeth is one of the common signs of decay. Sometimes this toothache occurs suddenly or after eating something. Apart from toothache, tooth decay also causes pain in other parts of your mouth. For instance, if you experience pain or pressure in your jaw when you bite down on something, you could be having cavities.
Staining on Your Teeth
If you suddenly notice staining on your teeth, you could be having cavities. These stains usually start as white stains and become darker over time. Stains caused by tooth decay can also be black or brown. They usually occur on the surface of your teeth.