Also known as cavities or dental caries, this is where the hard outer surface of your teeth (enamel) is damaged. If you don’t brush or floss regularly, you can find a build-up of plaque appear on your teeth. Plaque is a bacterial film that feeds on the debris of food and drink attached to your teeth. If left to thrive for too long, plaque can bore through your teeth’s enamel creating little holes. Once these holes appear, you’ll know you have tooth decay. If you have any of the following symptoms, book an appointment ASAP before the decay spreads.
If you’ve recently developed sharp pains when eating or drinking something particularly hot, cold, sweet or acidic, this is a definite tell-tale sign for tooth decay. Caused by the holes bored by plaque, the nervous cells are exposed to the elements and are not shy is letting you know about it.
If you notice a brown, black or white discoloured spot on your tooth this can be down to decay. Although cavities typically first look like little white marks, they can eventually pick up stains from the foods and beverages you consume, turning them a different colour.
Decay is the most common cause of toothache, wisdom teeth growing in, injury and sinus infection can cause it too. If toothache has appeared suddenly and nothing else about your health has changed, this could definitely be down to a cavity. Once plaque has eroded your enamel, it then bores through the next layers of tooth to the pulp. The tooth pulp is made of living tissue and more likely to become inflamed and painful.
Pits In Your Teeth
Once tooth decay has formed, and erosion gets worse, the cavity can then appear as a hole or pit in your tooth visible to the naked eye. This will usually present itself with pain and sensitivity at this stage.
Pain When You Bite Down
This can be a sign that your tooth pulp has been damaged. Worse still, this can be a sign that the pulp has died due to infection and pressing down on the root below. This type of pain can also be present when a tooth has been cracked and if either is left untreated may result in the tooth being extracted. Whatever the cause, come and see us straight away!
Hopefully these symptoms haven’t worried you too much that the slightest pain will result in tooth extraction. If you are suffering from any aches and pains in your teeth, phone and speak to our team. We aim to see all emergency patients the very same day where possible.