The most common dental problem most of us face is tooth decay. To ensure you keep your teeth healthy and intact well into your old age, it’s important to ask your dentist and know the signs and symptoms of tooth decay. The sooner you have any problems treated, the less likely you’ll be to lose your teeth.
Symptoms of tooth decay
One obvious symptom of tooth decay is a toothache, but by the time a tooth becomes uncomfortable, the decay has often progressed to a point that the tooth might be endangered. Other symptoms occur earlier, and if you know to look for them, you might be able to get treatment before decay progresses too far.
Some of the symptoms you should look for that could indicate tooth decay include:
- Sensitivity in the tooth
- Persistent bad breath
- A bad or metallic taste in the mouth
- Discomfort in the tooth or the jawbone
If you notice any of these symptoms, visit your dentist as soon as possible to have your problem diagnosed. If you have any signs of decay, you can plan how to have your tooth restored. Your dentist can help you decide on the best option for restoration.
Importance of your dentist in diagnosing tooth decay
Your dentist is also an important source of information about developing decay or other problems with your teeth, gums, or jawbones. At each appointment, an examination of your mouth, including your gums and other oral tissues, can help determine if you have any symptoms of gum disease or oral cancer. X-rays, taken on a regular schedule, can detect decay at very early stages. Often only a small restoration will be necessary to repair a cavity at this point.
If you have symptoms you think might be related to tooth decay, but you aren’t certain, the best course of action is to schedule an appointment to have your teeth examined.
For any questions about tooth decay or symptoms you might be experiencing, please contact the office of Dr. Kelli Slate to schedule an appointment.