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Common Symptoms Of Tooth Decay


The importance of proper oral hygiene for our overall health cannot be overstated, and knowing the symptoms of tooth decay is a sure way to prevent this threatening and all too common condition from developing. Tooth decay refers to damage done to a tooth’s surface, or the enamel. This can develop into cavities, and cause inflammation and pain. While cavities are treatable, prolonged and unprevented tooth decay can lead to various infections and even tooth loss. To stress the significance of preventative dental care, here are the symptoms of tooth decay, as well as its process and causes.

Process of Tooth Decay

The process of tooth decay is gradual, but any symptoms should be treated immediately to prevent further development. Upon a regular check-up appointment, your dentist should be able to identify any signs early on, such as a cavity or slight enamel damage. As the best way to prevent these issues is through proper dental hygiene and regular visits to your dentist, it is strongly recommended to get a cleaning every six months, and never hesitate to get a check-up if something feels off.

Symptoms Of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay may sometimes not cause any pain, but cavities can cause symptoms such as:

  • Toothache – General toothaches can come and go, but if a pain intensifies or doesn’t go away, it’s best to get it checked out.
  • Tooth Sensitivity – Feelings of tenderness or occasional and sharp pains while brushing your teeth or gums, or while eating food and drinking water, can be a sign of tooth decay.
  • Spots on Teeth – Cavities usually appear near the inner surface of your teeth, but some types of tooth decay can cause black or gray spots to form on parts of teeth that are visible.
  • Bad Breath – This can also coincide with a bad taste in the mouth while eating food.

Tooth Decay Causes


Tooth decay is caused by harmful bacteria that allows plaque and tartar to form around our teeth and gums. This harmful bacteria then uses the sugar and starch from the food we eat to make acids, which begin to deteriorate the coating of our enamel. Over time, this plaque and tartar can irritate the gums, and bring on these symptoms.

Fluoride is used to treat our enamel and allow it to repair naturally. While fluoride is found in toothpaste, water, and other mouth rinses, it all comes down to the natural ebb and flow our mouths go through daily. When unbalanced, these sugars and starches from sweets and unhealthy foods continue to form, and this plaque and tartar builds more quickly. As falling behind on our dental hygiene is understandable, taking these preventative measures can save you much trouble in the future.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay

Proper oral hygiene is always the highest priority for how to prevent tooth decay. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, and regularly using mouthwash if necessary are all efficient ways to keep your teeth clean and healthy.

Being conscious of our diet goes a long way. As unhealthy foods can cause rapid buildup of plaque, keeping things healthy is not only good for your teeth, but your body overall. This includes limited to no use of tobacco, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption. You can also consider drinking water that has fluoride, to give you extra protection at a convenience.

Importance of Preventive Dentistry

Tooth decay can largely be avoided with the proper preventive dentistry, and Dr. Hank Barreto is among the leading holistic dentists in southern Florida. We understand the role oral health plays in a person’s overall well-being, and our holistic approach combines both preventive and restorative measures in our general care to ensure both a healthy smile and a healthy self.

To learn more about the services we offer in Miami and Coral Gables, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.

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    135 San Lorenzo Avenue, Suite 640 Coral Gables, Florida 33146

    (305) 648.4998