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How to Tell When a Tooth Has Gone Bad

May 14, 2019

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Are you afraid you’ve got a rotten tooth? If you want to make sure that what you’re feeling is tooth decay pain, you came to the right place.

Recent studies found out that almost 40% of American adults 65 and over didn’t visit a dentist in the past year. A good 49% of them said it was too expensive. As a result, they learn to endure and live with many kinds of dental problems.

Below, we have a guide on how you can tell when your teeth are going bad.

1. What Is Tooth Decay?

The human tooth has three layers: enamel, dentin, and pulp. The enamel is the hard surface of your teeth and often is where cavities develop. If cavities are not treated right away, the rotten teeth will continue to get worse.

Tooth decay is one of the world’s most common health problems. Without proper tooth care, anybody, even infants, can get cavities. They are most common in children, teenagers, and even older adults.

Risk Factors of Cavities and Tooth Decay

Your molars and premolars have a lot of grooves and pits. These pits and crannies can collect food particles, plaque, and bacteria. Because they’re also in the back of your mouth, it can be difficult to keep them clean compared to your front teeth.

Other risk factors of cavities and tooth decay include:

  • Sweet foods and drinks that cling to your teeth
  • Frequent drinking of acidic drinks
  • Inadequate brushing
  • Not getting enough fluoride
  • Younger or older age
  • Bedtime infant feeding
  • Heartburn
  • Worn fillings
  • Dry mouth
  • Eating disorders

A good 33% of millennials are reluctant to smile because of tooth decay. You have the power to control most of these factors. Some are simple acts that you can stop doing while others you need to start doing more; Some need a lifestyle change for a healthier dental condition.

2. Symptoms of Tooth Decay

The signs that your teeth are rotting depend on the extent and location. If tooth decay is only starting, you may not even feel anything is amiss. Over time, rotten tooth symptoms will become more obvious as the tooth gets worse.

Toothache is one of the most noticeable signs you need a root canal or other dental attention. The kind of toothache you’d feel can vary between continuous or sharp. Because toothache is a common sign of mouth problems, it may mean something else other than a cavity.

Tooth sensitivity is another sign of tooth decay and other dental problems. Sensitive teeth will cause pain when you consume food that is hot, cold, or sweet. The pain can be mild, sharp, or it can feel like tenderness in the affected area.

If you experience one or both the symptoms above, check your teeth on the mirror. If you see dark spots on your tooth, that’s a sign of cavities. The spots can be yellow, grey, or black stains on the surface of your tooth.

While you’re in front of the mirror, check for holes or pits in your teeth. You will often see the dark spots in these pits or holes. These holes are where the bacteria and food parts get stored best.

Bad breath and an unpleasant taste in your mouth are other symptoms of cavities. These will come from the stored-up food particles and bacteria in your teeth.

3. Causes of Tooth Decay and Pain

The causes of teeth rotting out are from a combination of different factors. This includes bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking and sipping sugary drinks, and not cleaning your teeth well. Over time, tooth decay can lead to a dead tooth.

Tooth decay begins on the outermost layer of your teeth, the enamel. When the enamel breaks down and develops holes, the bacteria can enter deeper into the tooth. Without immediate treatment, the bacteria can enter the pulp and kill the nerves.

A tooth with a healthy pulp negatively reacts to the bacteria, swelling with the exposure. It will fight the bacterial infection with your body’s white blood cells. When it isn’t enough, the pressure inside the pulp will increase and kill the pulp by cutting off blood supply from the nerve.

4. What to Do When You Have Tooth Decay Pain

The first thing you should do when you experience tooth pain is to see your dentist. Do this as soon as you can before the problem gets worse. Don’t wait until it feels like your mouth has been hit by a truck before you go to a dentist.

5. How to Avoid Tooth Decay

Although tooth decay is a common problem, it is preventable. Regular check-ups let your dentist check the unnoticeable signs of tooth decay. This way, you can also save money solving small issues rather than handling big problems.

Avoid eating or drinking sweet things. If you keep snacking throughout the day, your teeth are always working against the sugars and substances. If you can, consume tooth-healthy foods instead.

Talk to your dentist about periodic fluoride treatments. Your dental expert may recommend fluoridated water or fluoride trays. If you are vulnerable to tooth decay, ask your dentist about antibacterial treatments.

Brush with fluoride toothpaste whenever you finish eating or drinking. It is important you brush your teeth at least twice daily, after every meal. Don’t forget to clean between your teeth with floss or interdental cleaners.

Keeping up with the newest food trends isn’t bad but make sure to clean your teeth well. When you eat foods that get stuck between teeth, clean them after your meal. Drink tap water as most public water supplies have added fluoride.

Maintain Healthy Teeth

That’s it for our guide on how to tell when your teeth are decaying. We hope this article helps and informs you well about handling tooth decay. When you experience tooth decay pain, always consult a dental professional right away.

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