Tooth decay is a hygiene-related dental disease that destroys a tooth’s enamel. The enamel is the hard, outer surface that protects the inner parts of your teeth. Decay can affect anyone from children, to teens, and also adults. Plaque, a sticky bacterial film, normally forms on the surface of your child’s teeth upon the consumption of food. When they consume food and drinks with high sugar content, the bacteria present in the plaque produce harmful acids. The acids eventually attack the enamel causing gradual decay. Receiving early treatment can help prevent tooth decay from spreading. However, to do that, it is important to understand the three main signs of tooth decay.
1. Black, grey, or brown spots appearing on the enamel
Once it has progressed, tooth decay becomes visible through the formation of spots around the affected tooth. If you notice weird spots on your enamel, you should seek immediate professional assistance to prevent the decay from spreading and developing into caries. The spots usually reveal the presence and activity of decay-causing bacteria. When the spots appear, they indicate the enamel is under attack by the reactive acid produced by bacteria.
2. Tooth sensitivity and bad breath
Although bad breath is common in people with poor dental hygiene, it often acts as a precursor to tooth decay. Bad breath is an indication of inadequate hygiene practices. In advanced cases of decay, the bad breath usually continues even after brushing. Another important sign of tooth decay is sensitivity. When a tooth becomes sensitive, there must be an underlying issue. However, in most cases, a sensitive tooth that does not receive immediate professional attention will continue to decay.
Experiencing toothaches, whether mild or strong, is an indication of decay. Toothaches usually vary depending on the severity of the decay. An advanced case of decay, as expected, will lead to stronger pains in the gum or tooth. The pains can ease up during the day and return at night, before or during sleep. Mild toothaches, unlike the more serious ones, usually indicate the onset of tooth decay. It is common to experience toothaches every once in a while; however, it is important to take the pains seriously, regardless of the magnitude.
Preventing tooth decay can be easy, especially if you are on the lookout. If your child is experiencing any of these signs, set up a time to visit us at Ashburn Children’s Dentistry, located in Ashburn, VA. Contact us today to book a consultation!