Your teeth are important as they help you to chew food, pronounce words, speak, and smile. When you notice that something is wrong with your teeth you might be experiencing tooth rot.
As it sounds, tooth rot is the deterioration of teeth and is normally caused by an overgrowth of bacteria.
Do you want to learn how to recognize the signs of tooth rot? If so, read on.
Check for These 5 Signs of Tooth Rot
Early signs of tooth decay are sneaky, often flying under the radar until it’s too late. Unfortunately, tooth rot is especially serious and can have long-term consequences for your overall health. Be sure to routinely examine your teeth for these 5 signs of early tooth decay:
1) Discolored Spots
Discolored spots on your teeth are often clear signs of tooth rot. This type of tooth rot is caused by the buildup of bacteria, acid, and plaque and can emerge as yellow, brown, or black spots or patches on the teeth. The spots occur because the bacteria release acid that damages enamel, causing discoloration.
If you spot any discolored spots on your teeth, it’s best to see a dentist right away. Without proper treatment, the decay will be irreversible and may require more expensive and invasive work such as a root canal or even a complete tooth replacement procedure.
2) Tiny Holes
The tiny holes indicate that your teeth are beginning to break down, and the decay is causing them to be weak. This can be caused by poor oral hygiene, poor diet, or from excessive sugar and soda consumption.
These holes can be very small, making them hard to spot with the naked eye. To determine if you have tooth rot tiny holes, you should visit your dentist for a comprehensive examination. Your dentist can make sure that cavities are caught early, and they may suggest a fluoride treatment. Taking good care of your teeth is one of the best ways to prevent and treat tooth decay.
3) Rough Edges
As the enamel is worn away, the bacteria can penetrate deeper and eventually cause holes in the teeth. Once the bacteria reach the inner parts of the tooth, it will begin to rot and break down. This can cause the edges of the teeth to become rough and jagged. These rough edges are a clear sign of dental decay and should be looked after immediately.
4) Increased Tooth Sensitivity
One of the primary signs of tooth rot is increased tooth sensitivity. This symptom can range from an occasional twinge of pain when consuming sweet or cold foods, to a sharp pain and a feeling similar to an electric shock when consuming anything that is hot or cold. If left untreated, the tooth decay can reach the nerves and cause severe pain.
5) Bad Breath or Bad Taste
Signs of tooth rot or decay often begin with mild symptoms, such as a bad taste in the mouth or bad breath. As tooth decay progresses, these symptoms can worsen. If left untreated, the bacteria that cause tooth decay can spread to other parts of the mouth and body. In severe cases, a person may be at risk of developing more serious infections in the mouth and jaw. Early detection is key in avoiding tooth rot and the associated discomfort and pain.
How to Protect Your Teeth
When it comes to protecting your teeth, it is important to pay attention to early signs of tooth rot. These five signs can’t be ignored and should be addressed by your dentist immediately.
Here’s a list of how to protect your teeth from tooth rot:
Regular Brushing and Flossing
Brushing your teeth when you wake up and before you go to bed is the best way to keep your teeth in good condition. Make sure to pay extra attention to your tongue and the roof of your mouth when brushing these areas as bacteria can easily build up here.
Flossing your teeth is also an important part of a dental hygiene routine. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles between teeth and can prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. Regular visits to the dentist are also recommended to keep your teeth healthy.
Using a Mouthwash
By swishing a specialty mouthwash, you can help remove bacteria, food particles, and other harmful debris from your teeth and gums. It also strengthens the enamel of your teeth, making them more resistant to decay. When choosing a mouthwash, look for one that has the American Dental Association seal of approval. This ensures that it has been tested for safety and effectiveness.
Ideally, you should use your mouthwash twice per day for maximum effectiveness. Swish it in your mouth for at least 30 seconds before spitting it out. Make sure to look for mouthwashes that contain fluoride as well as other natural ingredients that help protect your teeth and gums from plaque and tartar buildup.
Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks
Eating too much sugar can contribute to cavities and other damage to the teeth. Eating a balanced diet is best. Limit sweet snacks that are sticky, such as candy and dried fruit, because these will stick to the teeth longer, allowing bacteria to feed on the sugar.
Whenever possible, opt for sugar-free snacks or those with natural sugars. Likewise, instead of sugary drinks like soda, drink water or unsweetened tea. Brushing twice a day and flossing can help remove sugar and other food particles from your teeth before bacteria can feed on them.
Try to Avoid Grinding Your Teeth
Teeth grinding can have a variety of causes, including anxiety, malocclusion, and unresolved emotional issues. Although it can be difficult to prevent, there are some steps you can take to protect your teeth and reduce grinding.
Try to reduce stress in your life by exercising, participating in relaxing activities, or speaking to a mental health professional. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can increase muscle tension and make grinding more likely. While bruxism is a difficult habit to break, taking these steps may help reduce teeth grinding and keep your teeth healthy.
Tooth Rot Treatments
If you note any of these symptoms, it is important to seek treatment right away. A variety of tooth rot treatments are available, including dental fillings, root canals, and even tooth extraction.
Here’s an in-depth look at the possible treatments for tooth rot:
Flouride occurs naturally in food, water, and some toothpaste and it can help reduce plaque buildup. Fluoride treatments involve the application of a gel containing a higher concentration of fluoride to the teeth and are usually done in a dentist’s office. It helps strengthen the enamel of the tooth, making it more resistant to acid attack.
Fillings are used to restore the damaged area of the teeth to its normal shape and function. Common materials used for fillings are composites, porcelain, and gold. These materials are often chosen for their strength and effectiveness.
Fillings can also be used to prevent further tooth decay and protect against future infection. Regular dental cleaning can help diagnose and treat cavities. Proper brushing, flossing, and avoiding sugary foods can also help prevent tooth decay.
This procedure is used to restore teeth that have decayed to the point that a filling alone is not sufficient in protecting the tooth from further damage. A crown is a strong and durable cap-like restoration that covers the entire visible portion of the affected tooth and provides a fully-restored look.
The crown can be made of porcelain, metal, resin, or a combination of these materials and is custom-made for each patient to fit and match the shape, color, and texture of the surrounding teeth.
Root canals are one of the most effective treatments for tooth rot. In this procedure, the infected pulp inside the tooth is removed. The dentist drills a small hole in the crown of the tooth and inserts a tiny tool into the chamber where the pulp/nerves are located and begins the process of removing the infected contents.
If a tooth is too damaged or decayed to be saved, tooth extraction may be the best option. During a tooth extraction, the dentist will use forceps to remove the affected tooth from the socket. Following a tooth extraction, the dentist may perform a bone graft or apply a membrane to the socket to preserve the bone structure.
Dental implants are the preferred choice for permanent tooth replacement, as they are surgically inserted into the jawline and provide a permanent, secure tooth where cavity damage was once present. Bridges are an alternative method, using false teeth and attaching them to adjacent teeth.
These are generally more affordable, but may not last as long. Make sure to reach out to a tooth replacement service linked here for more information about dental implants. Both methods involve using local anesthetic and some recovery time, but the results can restore a healthy smile.
Learn About the Signs of Tooth Rot to Lookout For
Don’t let your smile suffer from tooth rot. If you recognize any of these signs of tooth rot, it’s important to consult your dentist immediately to avoid further damage.
With professional advice, you can take the necessary steps to restore your dental health and keep your smile looking its best. Don’t wait – make an appointment today and get your teeth back on track!
Was this article helpful? Head over to our blog for more reads like this!