Tooth decay is a serious oral health condition that, if left untreated, will only get worse with time. In fact, just one small, untreated cavity in the mouth can lead to a "dead" and rotten tooth, which, in turn, can spread to and negatively affect other teeth. Furthermore, oral health problems and tooth decay can also lead to other health problems throughout the body, which is the last thing you want. Fortunately, though, if decay is caught early on and addressed, you can prevent these serious effects from occurring. The best way to protect your mouth from tooth decay and its effects is to have regular visits with a dentist, to know the warning signs of tooth decay, and to visit with a dentist immediately if you suspect problems.
One of the first warning signs that you may be suffering from tooth decay is if you have a toothache that seems to come out of nowhere. An aching tooth or teeth means that something is wrong, so, even if the problem isn't decay, you will still need to get it checked out as soon as possible.
The pain that you experience may be constant, infrequent, or may come and go. In any case, tooth pain is not normal and needs to be looked at by a dentist.
Dental decay does not always present itself as tooth pain or a toothache in the typical way. Sometimes, the first warning sign of tooth decay may simply be that your teeth are more sensitive than usual.
If, for example, you suddenly find it painful to eat very cold or very hot foods, this could be an indicator that you are struggling with dental decay.
Tooth sensitivity, of course, is not always caused by decay, but if it's present, there is some kind of problem, and you should be examined by a dentist.
Sometimes, especially when tooth decay has progressed, you can actually physically see the symptoms of tooth decay.
If, when you take a look at your teeth, you can see visible black or brown spots on the tooth surface, this likely indicates the presence of tooth decay. Tooth decay may also present as visible holes in the teeth.
As you can see, your mouth will typically let you know when something isn't right, and, if you think something is wrong, your best defense is to see a dentist right away.