What Are the Early Signs of Tooth Decay?

What Are the Early Signs of Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is a common dental concern, yet many people don’t even realize they have it. If you’re wondering whether you have tooth decay and how to solve the problem, this guide can help.

What Is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is exactly what it sounds like: tooth damage. More specifically, it affects the enamel of your teeth and can cause cavities. Cavities are holes in your teeth that may lead to infection or severe pain. Eventually, cavities may lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

It’s one of the most common health issues across the world, and the effects can be detrimental to your overall health.

How Do Dentists Treat Tooth Decay?

Only a dentist can properly treat tooth decay. Treatments depend on the severity of the decay and include:

  • Fluoride treatment: This helps the enamel repair itself, but it’s only effective for very early tooth decay.
  • Filling: This standard treatment removes the tooth decay and restores the tooth with appropriate material.
  • Root canal: Root canals for more severe cavities. The dentist removes the tooth decay, cleans the root and inside of the tooth and uses a temporary filling. You come back later for a crown or permanent filling.
  • Extraction: If the decay is too severe for any of the other solutions, your dentist may pull the tooth. They may replace the natural tooth with a bridge or implant.

Can You Have Tooth Decay but Not Know It?

Yes, most people don’t realize they have tooth decay until it becomes a bigger problem (e.g. a cavity or infection). Simple daily activities can cause tooth decay. These include things like eating sweet foods, drinking sodas or other beverages with sugar or neglecting dental hygiene. The ADA recommends you brush twice a day and floss daily.

Can You Look for Signs of Tooth Decay at Home? Do You Need a Dental Examination?

At first, you may not notice any signs of tooth decay. Over time, though, you may feel pain or sensitivity, particularly when you eat cold or hot foods or sweet foods. When you look in a mirror, you may see small brown or white spots on your tooth. Sometimes, you can even see a cavity.

If tooth decay causes an infection, you may notice these signs, too. Severe pain, swelling (especially in your cheek or jaw) and fever are all signs of a tooth infection.

These signs are all later signs of tooth decay, however. To stop tooth decay early, you need regular dental cleanings and exams. If you don’t see a dentist until you notice signs of tooth decay, it may be too late to save the tooth.

You can schedule an appointment with a dentist in Dallas to help prevent and detect tooth decay.

Content found on this blog is intended for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional judgement, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please speak with a professional if you have concerns about your oral health.

COVID-19 Update

Dear Friends and Patients of Kozlow & Rowell Dentistry,
We want you to know that you are safe to receive your needed care here as always. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the following are extra measures that we have implemented to ensure the safety of our patients and staff.

  • Each member of our health team undergoes daily temperature checks and health screenings.
  • Covid-19 screenings for each patient upon check-in 10-15 minutes before scheduled appt. (temperature checks & health questionnaire).
  • Masks are worn by all patients and staff upon entry to the building and inside the suite(anywhere outside of exam rooms)
  • Patients are asked to practice social distancing at all times.
  • Plexiglass barriers are placed at the front desk for extra protection.
  • Continual sanitation of all door handles, countertops, restrooms and furniture.
  • All consents and paperwork are completed electronically upon check-in and sterilized after each use.
  • Air foggers have been placed in every exam room.
  • Staff is equipped with (PPE), proper protective equipment.(e.g., gloves, N95 & ASTM level 3 masks, eyewear)
  • Disposable, protective coats and hats.
  • Pre-procedural mouth rinse with ozone water.
  • CDC approved sterilization for all instruments.
  • Each operatory is sanitized with sodium hypochlorous after each patient.
  • Ozone is used before every exam and during dental treatment.
  • No handshakes or hugs
  • No magazines

Our office has always gone above and beyond to meet all health standards and guidelines set up by the CDC and ADA. We will continue to exceed those standards now. Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential to your overall health.

Click here for a personal video message from Dr. Kozlow. Be safe and we hope to see you soon.

Please contact our office if you have any concerns.