Maintaining oral health and proper dental hygiene is a vital part of maintaining overall health. Failing to brush, floss, or visit your dentist for regular cleanings can lead to tooth decay. Left untreated, tooth decay results in tooth loss, expensive emergency care, and increases the risk of serious medical complications.
Understanding the Causes of Tooth Decay
When leftover food particles remain on the teeth and gums after eating, it becomes food for harmful bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria voraciously feed on the sugars and release acid during the digestion process. The acid that’s released during digestion can increase pH levels in the mouth, leading to tooth decay. Without a healthy pH balance in the mouth, the protective enamel on our teeth is broken down over time, leaving teeth vulnerable to decay.
The Common Symptoms of Tooth Decay
Many symptoms of decay are easy to spot. Cavities, pain, or bleeding are obvious signs of oral health problems. There are more discreet symptoms of tooth decay, however, that are not always associated with deeper dental issues.
Check regularly for the following signs and symptoms of tooth decay:
- A change in color on the surface of teeth
- Frequent dry mouth
- Consistent bad breath that isn’t cured with brushing and flossing
- An unpleasant taste in the mouth that persists after oral care
- Inflammation or bleeding of the gums, also known as gingivitis
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Sensitivity to sweets or sugary beverages
- Sharp pains that occur suddenly and persist
- Aching in the mouth, jaw or neck
- Swelling of the neck, jaw or face not resulting from injury or other sources
- Frequent headaches
- Trouble sleeping due to pain or discomfort
- Plaque build-up
- Formation of cavities
- Cracking or chipping of teeth
- Developing an infection or abscess
If you are experiencing signs of tooth decay, contact your dentist for an exam. Catching tooth decay early will prevent pain and expenses later down the line.
Visit Your Dentist to Check for Signs of Tooth Decay
Reach out to the friendly team of dental professionals at Greeley Dental Health to check in on your dental health. Our team of trusted family dentists is here to assist with all of your oral care needs.
In addition to regular check-ups, cleanings, and emergency care, we offer a variety of cosmetic dentistry services. Contact us today to prevent further tooth decay and start on the journey to your best smile.