Although it can sound alarming, tooth decay is incredibly common in both children and adults. Tooth decay is the cause of cavities, which are tiny holes in the teeth. Left untreated, cavities can increase in size causing pain, infection, and even loss of the tooth.
Responding early to the symptoms of tooth decay, allows you to receive treatment before significant damage occurs. In some cases, you could have tooth decay without any symptoms at all, which is why it’s important to visit your dentist for routine cleanings and exams. Columbia Smiles can help.
Signs of Tooth Decay
It’s possible to have tooth decay and not know it. Coupled with regular dental visits, dental experience, and access to special tools, your dental professional can spot the early signs of tooth decay. If it has been a while since you last visited your dentist, and you are experiencing any of the following, schedule an appointment for a cleaning today.
- Toothaches – If you have continuous pain in your tooth or jaw or sudden sharp pains, this could be a sign of tooth decay
- Tooth sensitivity – Decay can cause you to feel extra sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet foods
- Persistent bad breath – If you have bad breath that won’t go away after brushing and flossing, tooth decay could be the culprit
- Discolorations – If grey, brown, or black spots have appeared on your teeth, you might have a cavity
- An unpleasant taste in your mouth – Much like bad breath, tooth decay can cause a bad taste that will not go away no matter what you eat or drink
Any kind of pain in your teeth or jaw is a reason to call your dentist to make an appointment. They’ll be able to diagnose and treat the issue, as well as prevent any future problems.
How to Treat Tooth Decay
If you are experiencing pain, make an appointment with your dentist. They can fill any cavities quickly and help stop the decay from spreading further. Fillings can be made to match the color of your teeth, making them invisible to the naked eye.
Your dentist might recommend a crown if decay has significantly weakened your tooth. A crown covers the top of your tooth and provides strength and support while preventing further decay.
A root canal might be necessary for situations where decay has reached the inner pulp of the tooth. During this procedure, your dentist removes all the infected material and replaces it with a filling.
In addition, your dentist might recommend sealants or fluoride treatments, both of which can protect your enamel and keep plaque from harming your teeth. In some cases, fluoride treatments can reverse the effects of minor tooth decay.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay
The best treatment is prevention. To help stop tooth decay before it starts, there are a few simple steps you can take.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day and preferably after eating
- Swap soda for water or sugar-free tea
- Floss daily to remove food from between your teeth
- Use fluoride toothpaste, which can strengthen your enamel
- Avoid using tobacco products
Finally, visit your dentist twice a year to remove stubborn plaque from your teeth.
Reach Out to Columbia Smiles Today
Columbia Smiles provides routine cleanings and exams that can help prevent tooth decay, they also offer treatments to keep decay from spreading further. Contact us today to make an appointment. If you’re experiencing tooth pain, sensitivity, or discomfort, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.
Find out why Columbia Smiles has been trusted by Howard County residents for over 35 years. Whether you are looking for a new dentist or have put off getting a routine cleaning, we invite you to contact us today at 410.690.4855 or to schedule an appointment online.