Symptoms of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is an umbrella term that is used to denote any kind of detrimental effects of the teeth and the gums due to harmful bacteria like the Streptococcus mutants. 

A cavity indicates the hole caused by the erosion of the enamel (the outer mineral covering of any incisor).A cavity is the first symptom of tooth damage and it is the root cause for a myriad of other dental problems. 

Normally pain from tooth decay and ordinary tooth ache are indistinguishable. One may have temporary teeth sensitivity and tooth ache after consuming extremely cold/hot substances. Such normal tooth aches are commonplace and occur immediately after consumption. But the pain from actual tooth decay manifests itself first in the form of a cavity after which the pain starts to affect the individual. This means that a cavity arises before there is any noticeable pain.

  • In the early stages, with the dissolution of the enamel, white spots may develop.
  • White spots progressively darken, due to the demineralization. The tooth becomes softer at the area of damage.
  • Pain arises once the damage reaches the inner nerves. Since the outer part of the tooth is practically dead, one cannot have any feeling of pain in the beginning stages.
  • But once the tooth is affected or infected, the pain reaches the peak and is literally unbearable to certain people. The pain is caused by exasperation of the incisor or worse the infection of the pulp.
  • Definitive darkening of the teeth and the dark hole called cavity are indications of the tooth which is extensively damaged.
  • The occurrence of plaque is another sure symptom of tooth decay. Bacteria that feed on the carbohydrates and sugars in the teeth digest them and leave colored deposits that are generally considered plaque. Tough, stained teeth can be indicative of deposited plaque.
  • The infection can literally break one’s teeth. Calcium deficiency can also lead to teeth breaking.
  • Teeth that are often sensitive to cold/hot stimulus and over sensitivity to earlier tolerable substances will point towards tooth decay.
  • A bad aftertaste or bad breath can be subtle signs of tooth decay. A simple mint pop might not be enough to deal with the underlying cause, so it is best to consult a dentist.
  • Sometimes the simple act of excessive chewing can be painful if there is a tooth problem.
  • Other tooth trouble includes intermittent or continuous bleeding gums.
  • Gum trouble like gingivitis is the main cause for irritation and swelling of the gums. This is mainly brought about by plaque.

A tooth abscess is defined as the accumulation of pus around the root of the tooth. Abscessed teeth can cause the swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck or around the ears. The pain is shrouded and presents itself as primarily ear pain when in actually it is from the decayed tooth. Fever may also develop if the infection is chronic.

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