Tooth decay occurs when plaque builds up on your teeth and produces harmful acid. A buildup of plaque can lead to various oral health problems including holes in the teeth, gum disease, or dental abscesses.
Ideally, tooth decay is stopped before it starts. Prevention is the best method to avoid tooth decay, but even people who take great care of their teeth can sometimes experience tooth decay. If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of tooth decay, don’t panic. As long as you take action now rather than later, you don’t have to continue living with tooth decay.
Signs & Symptoms of Tooth Decay
Tooth decay doesn’t always cause pain and discomfort. However, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it could be a sign of tooth decay.
- Toothache – can either be continuous, nagging pain or occasional, sharp pain, without an obvious cause
- Tooth sensitivity – tenderness or pain when consuming a hot, cold, or sweet food or beverage
- Black, brown, or grey spots on your teeth
- Chronic bad breath
- Frequently experiencing an unpleasant taste in your mouth
Is Tooth Decay Reversible?
In most cases, seeking professional treatment for tooth decay is the only way to guarantee the health of your teeth. However, there are steps you can take at home to prevent further decay and potentially reverse the damage that has already been done to your teeth.
To heal your teeth and prevent tooth decay, take the following steps:
- Cut back your sugar intake and increase the amount of calcium in your diet
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, making sure to clean all the surfaces and crevices of your teeth
- Floss at least once a day, paying close attention to your gumline
- Use mouthwash to get rid of any remaining bacteria
- Consider adding vitamins and supplements to your diet – particularly vitamin B, D, magnesium, and iron
- Regularly consume foods and drinks with natural probiotics
- Avoid highly acidic foods and drinks as much as possible
Treatments for Tooth Decay
If you have tooth decay, there are treatments available depending on how advanced it is. For early-stage tooth decay, we may use a fluoride gel, varnish, or paste on your teeth to strengthen the enamel and help protect your teeth from further damage.
Depending on the severity of the decay, we may consider a filling or dental crown. For more advanced decay, root canal treatment may be necessary. For the most severe cases in which the tooth cannot be saved, it may need to be removed. Fortunately, at Beaumont Family Dentistry we offer several tooth replacement options to restore your smile after the tooth is removed.
The only way to know for certain whether you are living with tooth decay and if so, how severe it is, is to visit one of our Lexington dental offices for an examination. One of our friendly and experienced team members can take a closer look at your teeth and determine how damaged they are and what treatments are recommended.
To ensure the health of your teeth and to protect your smile, call Beaumont Family Dentistry today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.