tooth decay symptoms True Dental man experiencing mouth soreness while looking at toothbrush

29 Aug Tooth Decay Symptoms to Be Mindful Of

If your teeth have white spots on them, or if you feel tooth pain when you eat or drink, it’s likely you’re experiencing tooth decay symptoms.

Tooth decay is the softening of your tooth enamel and refers to the damage of the structure of the tooth caused by acids that are created when plaque bacteria break down sugar in your mouth. If this loss of mineral from the enamel is left untreated, a cavity, or hole in the tooth, can eventually form. Without treatment, these holes grow larger over time and may even destroy the whole tooth.

You can’t reverse tooth decay but detecting it early on can prevent it from worsening and causing more serious health issues.

What Are the Early Stages of Tooth Decay?

Early tooth decay symptoms are often visible. You know decay has begun when chalky white areas on the surface of the tooth appear due to the loss of calcium and build-up of plaque. If you look closely into your mouth while brushing your teeth, you may see these chalky white areas in the grooves of your teeth.

If the tooth decay progresses, bacteria in the plaque begins to metabolize sugars from food consumed. The buildup of these acids causes tooth enamel to deteriorate, a process referred to as demineralization of the tooth surface.

This demineralization of tooth enamel appears as white spots on the affected tooth. Left untreated, the enamel starts breaking underneath the tooth surface and a lesion forms within the tooth.

Now that the decay is affecting the inside of the tooth, it can be more difficult to detect until it becomes more serious. Signs of later stage tooth decay include:

  • Pain or tooth sensitivity during eating or drinking
  • A noticeable hole or pit in the affected tooth (sometimes these holes are only visible on a dental x-ray)
  • Pus around a tooth
  • Bad breath

What Happens If Tooth Decay Is Left Untreated?

An untreated cavity can lead to the more serious symptoms mentioned above, a cavity, or worse, a bacterial infection in the tooth called a tooth abscess. If the tooth abscess is not treated by the dentist (antibiotic prescription, drainage of abscess, root canal procedure, or removal of the infected tooth), the tooth decay may spread to the pulp (causing the tooth to die) and to other parts of your body (jaw, head, neck, brain). In rare cases, it can lead to sepsis.

If you believe you have tooth decay, connect with a trustworthy and experienced dentist to book an appointment.

How Do You Treat Rotten Teeth?

It depends on how rotten your teeth are. The severity of the tooth decay will determine your course of treatment. Since you can’t treat rotten teeth yourself, book an appointment with your West Kelowna dentist and he or she will decide the best treatment plan for you.

  • Fluoride treatments
  • Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Root canals
  • Tooth extractions
  • Antibiotics

If it doesn’t cause any pain, try to brush and floss your teeth to the best of your ability before seeing the dentist about your tooth decay symptoms.

symptoms of tooth decay photo of true dental office

True Dental West Kelowna Can Explore Your Tooth Decay Symptoms

Want to avoid tooth decay? Cut back on sugary foods and drinks, and brush and floss your teeth two or three times a day. Regularly seeing your trusted family dentist is also a crucial preventative measure.

If you feel like you’re experiencing symptoms of tooth decay, book an appointment with True Dental West Kelowna today!