Tooth decay is a common problem that affects many adults. It is an infection of the tooth caused by bacteria. The most common symptoms are pain, sensitivity to hot and cold, and a change in the tooth’s color.
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in your mouth produce acids that eat away at the protective enamel on your teeth. This process can take weeks or months to cause noticeable damage to your teeth. However, if you don’t see a dentist regularly, you might not notice that you have this decay. This is because there are many times that there aren’t any signs of pain that go along with the decay. This is especially true when the decay is just forming. However, if left too long, the decay can worsen and start to rot the tooth.
Tooth decay is caused by a combination of factors, including poor oral hygiene, diet, genetics, and sometimes medications such as antibiotics or steroids. You should always see your dentist for proper oral cleanings every 6 months to help prevent tooth decay.
Conditions that Affect Your Teeth That Lead to Tooth Decay
The first condition is gingivitis. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums, which causes them to become red and sore. This condition can be caused by plaque build-up on your teeth or from bacteria in your mouth. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to an infection in your mouth which may cause tooth decay.
The second condition is periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease that leads to inflammation and eventual destruction of the tissue that supports your teeth. This affects the gum tissue and the bone around it, leading to tooth loss if it’s not treated quickly enough. The third condition is dry mouth.
There are many potential causes of dry mouth, including medications, chronic diseases, and aging. A dry mouth can lead to tooth decay. This is because it prevents natural saliva production. This saliva is used to wash away sugar and leftover food particles from the teeth. When the mouth is dry, you don’t have that natural production.
How to Recognize Signs of Tooth Decay & Why it’s Important to Seek Treatment
Dental decay is a common condition. It can happen to anyone, but it’s more likely to occur in people who have risk factors such as:
- Having braces or other dental appliances that trap food particles and plaque.
- A family history of tooth decay.
- Poor oral hygiene habits such as not brushing and flossing properly. Also, not seeing a dentist regularly.
- Poor diet
- Medications or illegal drugs
While there are many reasons for tooth decay, most of the time, it is preventable. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t seek help if you have a tooth problem for fear of judgment. No judgment here, we all make mistakes, the important part is that you understand your mistake and seek help to get treatment before it becomes a bigger problem.
We are happy to take a look and help you better handle your oral care. Sometimes tooth decay is minimal enough that a simple filling will do. However, other times tooth decay is so severe that we will need to extract that tooth. Once the extraction is complete, we can discuss your options for a tooth replacement.
When you have a rotten tooth, it is important to take care of it as soon as possible. A lot of people don’t realize how serious dental problems can be. You should schedule an appointment with a dentist as soon as you notice any symptoms of tooth decay. Not only does a rotten tooth affect your smile and breath, but it also affects your overall health and can lead to other health problems. Be sure to contact a dentist as soon as you show the first signs of tooth decay.