Common Symptoms of Tooth Decay
Do you feel a twinge of sensitivity when you eat chocolate? Are you finding that it is uncomfortable to chew on one side of your mouth due to a toothache? Patients who are experiencing changes to their oral health will need to visit a dentist in Encinitas, California to determine if they need tooth decay treatment. Encinitas area dentist, Dr. Claudio B. Cortadi of Ablantis Dental, encourages patients to take time to learn about the signs and symptoms of tooth decay and find out if treatment is needed.
What causes tooth decay?
Tooth decay is also referred to as cavities or caries. Cavities are areas in the enamel that are eroded. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Some patients may experience cavities due to poor oral health habits. They might not be brushing and flossing as directed, and might be avoiding their routine cleanings and evaluations with their dentist. This can increase the risk of cavities. Additionally, diets high in sugars and carbohydrates can also contribute to the formation of cavities in the smile. Sugars and carbs can help the formation of plaque, which can harden and develop into harmful acids that destroy natural tooth enamel. When this happens, a cavity forms.
What are the signs of early-stage tooth decay?
Many patients might not even know that they have a cavity until they visit their dentist. Extremely small cavities are often monitored over time, while larger cavities will require tooth decay treatment. Encinitas area patients will often find that dental fillings are the go-to solution for many areas of decay within the smile.
Later signs and symptoms of tooth decay may include:
- Persistent bad breath, or halitosis
- Pain in the molars when biting down on food
- Changing colors of tooth enamel to brown, gray, or even black
- Sharp pain and sensitivity when eating or drinking hot or cold foods
- Tooth sensitivity with sweet foods, such as chocolate
- A persistent toothache, whether minor or severe
- Soft or sticky areas on the teeth that might indicate a cavity
How can I avoid tooth decay?
Patients who are worried about developing cavities have options when it comes to prevention. First and foremost, patients who want to keep cavities and periodontal disease from developing will need to make their dental health a priority. A proactive approach to dental health includes regular visits to the dentist for cleanings and evaluations, and visiting the dentist as soon as changes occur to the smile. Treating earlier stages of decay and disease is easier and less expensive and damaging to the smile than treating it at later stages. Patients will also want to follow their dentist’s recommendations in regards to the products and instruments they use to maintain their oral health at home, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, or even mouthwashes.
What should I do if I suspect tooth decay?
Regardless of when your next appointment is schedule, Dr. Claudia B. Cortadi of Ablantis Dental strongly encourages patients to make a new appointment when problems develop. Early diagnosis and treatment is vital to reducing the risk of future problems in the smile.
Contact a dentist in Encinitas to learn more about the symptoms of tooth decay
Dr. Claudia B. Cortadi and her team at Ablantis Dental in Encinitas, California are available to help patients achieve better oral health and wellness, while monitoring and treating areas of tooth decay. If you are concerned that you might have a cavity developing in your smile, we invite you to book a consultation visit with our team of professionals by calling (760) 334-0128. We are open to new and established patients at our facility, conveniently located at 351 Santa Fe Drive, Suite #110.