Symptoms of tooth decay you must be aware of for improved dental hygiene.

Taking care of your teeth should always be at the top of your list when it comes to staying healthy. In fact, research has shown that dental health is an essential part of both physical and mental well-being. This is why the importance of brushing your teeth, flossing and having regular dental check-ups are instructed to us from early childhood.

Even the most diligent of individuals, however, will experience some level of tooth decay at some point in their lives. If left unchecked, this can lead to the need for restorative dentistry and maybe even cosmetic dentistry. This is why you must learn how to identify the symptoms of tooth decay so that you know when it’s time to visit a dentist.

Though most people do not suffer any symptoms of tooth decay, it’s important to know some of the signs of this issue. Let’s discuss a few symptoms, along with how you can prevent tooth decay and what types of dental treatments are typically involved.

Common Symptoms of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a serious issue, so it’s important to know what to watch out for. Let’s take a look at a few symptoms of tooth decay that you may experience:

  • Tooth Sensitivity — This causes a twinge of pain that you may feel when you eat or drink something that is either hot or cold.
  • Toothache — A dull or sharp pain that is sometimes unbearable is definitely one of the telltale signs of decay.
  • Discoloration — You may notice that a tooth has gray, brown, or black spots.
  • Bad Breath — Unfortunately, this may be something that another person realizes before you do.
  • Unpleasant Taste — If your mouth has an unpleasant taste that doesn’t seem to go away, this could indicate decay.
  • No Symptoms – You might not experience any noticeable symptoms despite existing decay, at least for a while, which is why routine check-ups are so important.

Techniques to Prevent Tooth Decay

The good news is that prevention doesn’t take a whole lot of time as long as you can be diligent about it. To help you maintain good dental hygiene, here are a few ways that you can prevent decay:

  • Brush and Floss Regularly — You should always brush and floss twice per day to clean your teeth and get rid of food particles left behind.
  • Ensure you get regular check-ups and x-rays – Regular check-ups and x-rays will detect tooth decay and other oral issues. Make sure to schedule these appointments at least twice a year to avoid worsening cavities and tooth loss.
  • Get Regular Check-Ups — Every six months, visit the dentist for a check-up and cleaning, plus x-rays if needed.
  • Examine Teeth Periodically — Checking your teeth on your own is the best way to notice discoloration and other problems prior to a check-up.
  • Lower Sugar Intake — Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay, especially if you skip brushing on occasion, so try to cut back as much as possible.

Dental Treatment of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay must be taken seriously, but it’s definitely something that can be treated in a variety of ways. Here are the types of treatment that you can expect your family dentist to perform:

  • Dental Filling — If the decay is relatively mild, your dentist will use a local anesthetic so that he or she can remove the decay and either apply a filling or crown.
  • Root Canal — In situations where the decay has spread to the pulp of the tooth, which contains nerves and blood, this part of the tooth will be removed in a procedure called a root canal, then covered with a crown.
  • Tooth Removal — If the tooth is severely damaged and can’t be restored, you’ll need to have it removed and then possibly replaced by either a bridge, partial denture, or implant.

Contact Harborview Dental Health For All Your Dental Needs

Even if you are not suffering from tooth decay symptoms, knowing the symptoms of tooth decay will help you take much better care of your teeth. If you are in need of any type of dental work or would like to learn more about proper dental hygiene, Harborview Dental Health can help. To learn about our procedures for gentle dental in Palm Harbor and how to finance dental work contact our dentist in Palm Harbor today at 727-785-4716.