Common Symptoms of Tooth Decay

Posted by OC Advanced Periodontics on Jan 1 2022, 07:39 AM

Common Symptoms of Tooth Decay

Cavities form when the enamel on the chewing surfaces of your teeth wears down to the point that it can no longer protect the tooth’s inner layers. Several factors such as oral bacteria, sugary foods and drinks, and improper oral care routines contribute to tooth decay that causes cavities or caries.

Cavities that are left untreated get bigger and harm the deeper layers of your teeth. They may result in excruciating pain, infections, and even tooth loss. Your best defenses against cavities and tooth decay are regular dental appointments and proper brushing and flossing.

Tooth Decay Symptoms 

Cavities have various symptoms, depending on their size and location. You will have no symptoms while a cavity is still in its early stages. As the decay progresses, it may manifest itself via the following signs and symptoms:

  • Toothache, idiopathic pain, or pain that happens for no apparent reason
  • Sensitivity of the teeth
  • Pain ranging from mild to severe after eating or drinking anything sweet, spicy, or cold
  • Visible pores or pits in your teeth
  • Brown, black, or white stains on the surface of a tooth
  • Aching pain when biting

Tooth Decay Stages

Tooth decay is a gradual process. The following outlines how tooth decay occurs:

  • Plaque begins to form. Plaque that remains on your teeth hardens into tartar under or above the gum line (calculus). 
  • Acid attacks. Plaque and tartar acids dissolve the minerals in the tooth's hard outer layer known as the enamel. This erosion results in microscopic pores or holes in the enamel – the first stage of cavities. As the enamel wears away, germs and acids may access the dentin layer of your teeth.
  • Decay progression. As tooth decay progresses, germs and acids approach the inner tooth structure (pulp), affecting the nerves and blood vessels. The germs cause the pulp to swell and become inflamed, resulting in discomfort and pain. The inflammation and potential infection can also spread to the tooth root.

You may be entirely oblivious that a cavity is forming in one of your teeth. That is why, even if your mouth feels OK, you should schedule regular dental exams and cleanings.

Contact OC Advanced Periodontics to schedule your dental appointment now by calling (714) 730-7877 or visiting us at 1076 E 1st St STE F, Tustin, CA 92780. 

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