Dental Cavities

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Decay

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 20, 2017
What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Decay

Having good dental health is essential to having healthy and strong teeth. The mouth is one of the most important elements of our body as we use it to feed ourselves. Without teeth in perfect condition, chewing and grinding the food becomes difficult and eating food without proper chewing will in time generate stomach problems and make us gain weight more quickly, among other consequences.

One of the most common diseases due to improper dental care is the development of cavities, or tooth decay. If not treated in time these can spread through the teeth as they are very infectious. To prevent this from happening, in this OneHowTo article we tell you what are the signs and symptoms of tooth decay, so you can identify and heal them time.

You may also be interested in: How to Cure a Tooth Infection

Steps to follow:


Tooth decay is produced by the adherence of bacteria to our teeth, resulting in what we know as dental plaque. When we eat the bacteria in our mouth produces acids that dissolve and damage the enamel of our teeth and the dentine; this creates cavities that can reach the center of the tooth and its root if untreated.

In general, these bacteria usually adhere to specific parts of the teeth, such as the surface of the molars and pre-molars or the areas parallel to the gums. And so, if cavities are not treated as they should, they can also damage the gums and lead to other diseases such as gingivitis.

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Decay - Step 1

The early symptoms of tooth decay are very difficult to detect, it does not produce discomfort and is barely noticeable to the naked eye. The best prevention is to go to your dentist twice a year to have a check up and establish whether there is any tooth decay.

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Decay - Step 2

Although in the early days it is difficult to detect if any of your teeth have cavities, as the disease progresses there will be growing evidence that can lead to that conclusion. The most notable symptoms of cavities are:

  • Tooth enamel loses shine
  • The affected tooth acquires a dull tone and begins to change color (this is not always a reliable symptom)
  • Discomfort when chewing certain foods, especially sweets and acids
  • Sensitivity to cold and heat (both drinks and food)
  • If decay is advanced, some tooth parts may break
  • Holes appear in parts of the tooth
  • Advanced decay may result in feeling a throbbing in the tooth

If the cavity is not treated it can also cause earache or a stabbing feeling in the head. It is advisable to inspect your teeth daily using a mirror to see if any of these symptoms are present in your teeth. Although color change is not always a sign of decay, this will be a sign of some type of infection or that there is too much tartar accumulated.

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Decay - Step 3

If you notice any of the above symptoms you should go to your dentist immediately to have him or her make a diagnosis and treat the decay properly. Remember that failure to do so will result in further damage until you reach the point where it will become irreversible.

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Decay - Step 4

To prevent the occurrence of tooth decay you can read this article and follow the instructions for prevention. Correctly brushing your teeth and doing so at least 3 times a day is essential to keeping cavities at bay.

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Decay - Step 5

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Decay, we recommend you visit our Family health category.

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What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Decay