4 Signs Your Teeth Are Decaying And When To See The Dentist

Tooth Decaying
Written by Nancy

Tooth decay is a long process, with your tooth and enamel going through several stages before you lose a tooth.

It begins with several white spots appearing on your tooth, before the enamel breaks down, creating pockets on the surface of the teeth for plaque and food debris to settle into.

What Are The Causes of Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is usually the result of acidic damage to the tooth’s structure, paired with the bacteria formed by plaque doing additional damage. The process can also be sped up by the proteins in our saliva acting on sugary foods in our mouth.

Early stages of tooth decay can be reversed through healthy oral habits. But in the later stages, when your enamel and dentin starts to break down, the process might be irreversible. You’ll have to see your dentist at this point.

The following are some symptoms of tooth decay that you shouldn’t ignore:

Persistent Toothache

While a toothache can indicate many dental illnesses, persistent pain in your tooth usually points to severe demineralization. If there hasn’t been an accident or major changes in your mouth—like an erupting wisdom tooth or dental implants—then a constant toothache is a major symptom of the onset of tooth decay.

The toothache can be caused by the cavity traveling down your dentin—which can cause it to become inflamed and give you severe pain.

Tooth Sensitivity

When a tooth cavity creeps down the dentin, microscopic tubules—hollow canals—allow cold, hot, sticky, acidic or sweet food to stimulate the cells and nerves inside your teeth. If you feel pain in addition to increased tooth sensitivity, it means you’re at an advanced stage of tooth decay.

A Hole in Your Tooth

While other symptoms can only be felt and not seen, you can’t miss spotting a hole in your tooth.

When cavities develop, they start digging deeper and erode the surface of your mouth by burrowing down on your tooth.

This is a clear sign—as clear as a sunny day—that you have a cavity building up in your mouth. If you don’t visit a dentist even now, this will lead to more advanced levels of tooth decay.

Black, Brown or Whiter Teeth

This is another visible symptom of tooth decay! Even though the symptoms of tooth cavities start off with white spots, they pick up stains from foods and beverages, turning your teeth a different color.

Hence, if you notice discolored teeth—whether they’re black, brown or more white than the rest—it’s a sign that your teeth have started decaying.

Advanced Dental Center is a team of highly trained dentists in Germantown, MD. With advanced degrees in the field and the latest treatment methodologies, they have helped patients deal with all kinds of dental issues by providing services like periodontal treatment and cosmetic dentistry. Get in touch with them today for all your dental needs!

About the author


I’m Nancy and no, I didn’t always look like I do in that picture on the right. My foray into health and fitness began as a brace-faced, 16 year-old who was too afraid to wear a two-piece at the beach because I felt my body paled in comparison to my much more toned friends.

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