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  • Sunshine City Dentistry

Symptoms of Tooth Decay

If you have any of the following symptoms, the cause could come from tooth decay.

  1. Toothache – it could be a constant, dull pain lasting all day or a sharp pain that comes and goes.

  2. Tooth sensitivity – You may feel pain or discomfort when eating or drinking hot, cold or sugary foods. This is because when your enamel wears down, the dentin that lays underneath has nerve endings that are extremely sensitive.

  3. Bad breath even when keeping your teeth and tongue brushed.

  4. Discoloration or spots on your teeth -- They can be white, brown, black, and will darken over time. This spot will eventually turn into a hole, which may not always be noticeable if it’s in a crevice of your tooth that isn’t easily seen or felt.

  5. An unpleasant taste in your mouth.

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s best to visit a dentist. Tooth decay is easiest to treat in early stages and your dentist can typically identify and treat tooth decay with an examination and/or x-ray. This is why it’s also important to have regular dental cleanings and checkups so tooth decay can be prevented, identified, and treated if necessary.

Treatments for tooth decay

For early stages of tooth decay, your dentist may apply fluoride to strengthen the area and discuss your diet and/or brushing habits if it is one of the causes.

Further, a filling may be needed. This process involves removing the decay, and filling the hole to protect from future decay.

If the decay has spread to the pulp (center of the tooth), you will need a root canal in order to remove the decay from the pulp. A crown (a cap that is placed over the existing tooth) may be placed to restore the tooth fully.

In the worst stage, if the decay causes the tooth to become unrepairable, it will be pulled and an implant, bridge or partial may be placed.

You can learn more about each of these services here.

Preventing tooth decay

If you have experienced tooth decay, it’s a very common problem we see in dentistry, not to worry! But whether you have or haven’t experienced some form of it, you’ll know preventing tooth decay is ideal, no one enjoys dental pain!

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is the best way to prevent tooth decay.

Although that may sound obvious, here are some tips to maintaining healthy teeth:

  1. Brush twice daily

  2. Floss at least once daily

  3. Visit the dentist for checkups every 6 months

  4. Avoid smoking - smoking disrupts saliva production, and saliva helps keep teeth from building plaque.

  5. If you have experienced tooth decay due to diet, cutting down on sugary foods/acidic foods will help combat this.

  6. Drinking water regularly will clean the teeth from any acids or sugars between meals and help keep up saliva production.

  7. See your dentist if you have any dental problems at all - pushing it off does nothing but progress the problem, and the earlier detection means more effective treatment options!

Come visit Dr. Moccia at Sunshine City Dentistry if you are experiencing any of the tooth decay symptoms described. If that is not an issue for you, scheduling for regular checkups and cleanings is the best way to prevent decay in the future!


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