One of the most common causes of toothache, tooth decay is a condition in which our teeth’ hard surface develops permanently damaged spots. These spots can become tiny holes that allow the bacteria to reach the inside of the teeth, resulting in tooth infection.

While this condition mainly impacts children and teenagers, older adults are also prone to getting it. As it can prove to be quite painful, it’s important that you treat tooth decay, also called cavities, as early as you can. The ideal approach is to visit your Tupelo dentist at the earliest if you suspect you have a tooth decay problem. Delaying the treatment not only causes great pain and discomfort, but you may end up losing your tooth.

What Are the Common Signs of Cavities in Teeth (Tooth Decay)?

Different patients depict different signs. Some experience more symptoms than others, while a few do not show any signs at all, particularly during the initial tooth decay stages.

Having said that, these are some of the common tooth decay symptoms most people experience:

  • Tooth Sensitivity
  • Prominent pits in your teeth
  • Severe toothache
  • Facial swelling
  • Pain when drinking hot, sweet, or cold water
  • Pain when eating hot, sweet, or cold food
  • Pain while biting
  • Prominent stains on teeth

If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule a visit to the best dentist in Tupelo, ideally Dr. Robert H. Thornton as he boasts years of experience in treating patients with tooth decay problems.

Causes of Tooth Decay:

To understand the treatment, you need to know about the causes. Now, speaking about causes, there can be plenty of them. However, plaque, in most cases, is the main culprit behind tooth decay. It is a sticky and thin film-like substance that develops on the teeth’ surface. Let’s see how it results in dental decay:

The Formation of Plaque

When you eat a lot of sugary food, you become more prone to getting dental decay. This problem is further elevated by subpar oral hygiene as it helps the development of plaque on teeth.

Plaque formation occurs due to eating a lot of starches and sugary food. Furthermore, poor oral hygiene also contributes to the formation of this clear and sticky film on our teeth.

What happens is that when you are unable to clean starches and sugary foods off your teeth due to poor oral hygiene, they become the food for bacteria. Now, these are the ones who are responsible for the formation of plaque in your mouth. So, basically, by eating a lot of sweets and not brushing and flossing your teeth, you are giving bacteria an open invitation to impact your teeth.

If the plaque stays on your teeth for an extended period, the gum line gets hardened. It also results in the formation of tartar. Due to this phenomenon, removing plaque becomes even more difficult as it takes on the role of a shield that protects bacteria.

Attack of Plaque

There are acids found in plaque that perform the role of stripping enamel from essential minerals. Consequently, tiny holes develop in the enamel. This basically marks the initial stage of dental decay.

These holes act as gateways for acid and bacteria as it allows them to access the inner layer. This layer, dentil, is less resistant to these attacks as it is quite soft. It holds the major function of maintaining communication with the tooth’s nerve. 

Access to The Next Layer

The next stage is when acid and bacteria make their way to the pump, causing it to become swollen. It is the inner material composed of nerves and blood vessels. Since there’s limited space inside the tooth, a swollen pump puts extra pressure on the nerve. And the result is toothache.

How to Stop Dental Decay?

The only way to stop dental decay once it has started is to get treatment. Of course, maintaining optimal oral hygiene is important, but getting tooth decay treatment is essential. The type of treatment depends on various factors, including the severity of the situation. Some common treatments include fillings, tooth extraction, root canal, and fluoride treatment.

You should visit dental services in Tupelo for more guidance on which treatment suits your condition the best.