Early warning signs of tooth decay and what can you do to prevent it

Tooth Decay Warning Signs
Tooth decay is a reality for many of us - in fact, more than 90% of adults have had problems with tooth decay and required fillings at some point. If you have tooth decay and it is left untreated then it can cause you some serious problems further down the line. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you’re aware of the early signs of tooth decay, as well as what you can do to prevent it from happening in the first place.

What are the warning signs of tooth decay?

Increased sensitivity. You’ll notice this most of all when it comes to consuming anything hot or cold. Tooth decay can mean that the enamel in your teeth gets worn down, exposing the layer of dentin underneath, which stimulates the nerves and creates the discomfort and sensitivity you can feel.

Signs of discolouration. Black or brown spot son your teeth could be a sign of tooth decay - or even just a part of the tooth that looks off white. When decay starts to be physically visible like this it means that it has become quite severe so you’ll need to see a dentist fairly quickly.

Pain in your teeth. This is one of the most obvious signs of tooth decay - and one that is the hardest to miss. You could experience this as a dull ache in your teeth or it might be more of a constant, acute pain. Pain can also be very specific to when you’re using your teeth to bite. You may notice that toothache starts after a meal or there may seem to be no cause for it. Pain is the result of inflammation that is happening around the decaying tooth and the increased sensitivity in the dentin.

A strange taste or smell. Consistently bad breath or an odd taste in the mouth can be a sign of tooth decay. This is because decay creates bacteria that has an impact on your mouth - usually an unpleasant taste and smell that may be difficult to hide.

Gums that bleed. Some tooth decay settles near the gum line and the signs of this type of tooth decay tend to be in the gums themselves. In particular, swollen and bleeding gums that are reactive to brushing and flossing could be a sign of a bigger problem.

Noticing a hole in your tooth. This is the next step on from dark spots on your teeth and means that they decay has started to break the tooth down. You might notice the hole or feel it with your tongue - either way, it’s time to see a dentist.

What can you do to prevent tooth decay?

It's important to have a healthy oral routine in place and plan regular trips to see your dentist and hygienist. If you’re able to catch tooth decay early then it's much easier to deal with.

Monitoring your teeth can help prevent future problems - having a preventative plan in place can make all the difference.

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