Do you know that poor dental hygiene can put you at the risk of tooth decay, also known as Rotten Tooth?
Good oral and dental hygiene contributes to a healthy smile, teeth, and gums and in turn a confident you.
However, when you do not take care of your teeth and oral hygiene it can cause many problems.
Your mouth contains bacteria. When you eat food or drink juices or beverages, the bacteria become more acidic and attacks the enamel of your teeth.
When you do not take care of your oral and dental hygiene, this bacteria becomes more acidic and over time it causes cavities and plaque.
Decay is due to the presence of plaque in your mouth.
This is a sticky, colorless film that covers your teeth. This film contains bacteria, and if you do not remove it by brushing your teeth, it can severely damage your teeth and cause decay.
Thus, your teeth become loose and tend to fall out. Thus, it is important to recognize the causes and symptoms of rotten teeth.
Symptoms of Rotten Teeth
Rooten teeth or tooth decay is the permanent damage to the outer surface of the tooth.
It is important to have regular dental appointments as most often cavities are not noticeable.
With the help of these appointments, your dentist can diagnose the presence of cavities and take steps to prevent them.
However, if you do not get treatment for cavities in the early stages, then it can affect the deeper layers of your tooth.
Along with a small opening or a hole in your tooth, other signs and symptoms of cavities are toothaches, sensitivity to eating or drinking hot or cold food items.
Brown or black spots on the tooth, bad breath, unpleasant taste in the mouth, and swelling are the most common sign and symptoms of cavities.
It is important to note that rotten tooth is not only an adult problem, it can occur in both toddlers and children as well.
Signs and symptoms of a rotten tooth may vary in children and includes swollen gums, irritability, and sometimes a fever which indicates the presence of an infection.
Thus, if your child seems irritated or is unable to express the location of discomfort, then you should check the insides of their mouth.
This will help you identify the problem.
Causes of Rotten Tooth
There are different causes of a rotten tooth, however, one of the major ones is eating sugary foods and not following good oral hygiene.
When you do not brush your teeth, mouth bacteria create a layer of sticky plaque and it destroys the enamel.
When there is damage to the enamel of your tooth, it then attacks the dentin, a softer layer, and eventually leads to the pulp and nerve endings.
Thus, understanding different factors of tooth decay can help prevent problems with your teeth.
Let’s learn more about them.
When you consume food that has high sugar content and carbs, then it contributes to affecting your tooth as these foods stick to your teeth.
Sugar feeds bacteria present inside your mouth and thus increases the acidity.
When you eat a lot of sugary foods and do not brush your teeth, you may experience a faster breakdown of tooth enamel.
The enamel is the outer layer of your tooth and it protects your tooth from such acidic attacks.
The acid in beverages slowly dissolves the enamel and with acid reflux, the stomach acid can erode tooth enamel.
Learn more about how to cut back on Daily Sugar Intake
Fluoride is a natural mineral that has the ability to strengthen your tooth enamel.
Thus, it makes your teeth more resistant to cavities.
Many areas have fluoride in the public water supplies but are not present in the bottled water.
In case, you do not use toothpaste that contains fluoride or drink from your city’s water supply, then there is an increase in the risk of developing tooth decay.
Dry Mouth and Dental Crevices
When your salivary glands do not produce enough saliva to remove plaque and bacteria, then you can risk developing more plaque and acid in your mouth.
Thus, it increases the risk of developing tooth decay or rotten tooth.
Moreover, it can also occur due to deep dental crevices.
These groves of deep layers make it hard to brush effectively and when plaque gets down to these groves, it can eat the surface of the tooth.
Thus, applying a dental sealant to your healthy teeth can help prevent the buildup of plaque.
If your child falls asleep with a bottle of milk, juice, or formula milk in their mouth, then it can cause early age tooth decay.
Moreover, dipping your child‘s pacifier into honey or sugar can also cause rotten teeth.
In both of these situations, the extra sugar produces more acid, affecting the baby teeth of your child.
This sugar when collects around the teeth lead to tooth decay.
Diagnosing Rotten Tooth
Your dentist or pediatric dentist can identify the signs ad symptoms of rotten teeth by physical examination of your oral cavity.
When you have brown or black spots on your teeth or a tooth, then it is a sign of a rotten tooth.
Moreover, they will ask you about the pain in your tooth and sensitivity.
They’ll probe your teeth with dental instruments to check for soft areas if present.
They will order dental X-rays as well.
It helps them to identify the extent the dental cavities and decay and help devise a treatment plan that depends on the extent of the damage.
Regular dental checkups can help identify cavities and other dental conditions before they start causing signs and symptoms.
Moreover, they can help treat these issues at early stages to prevent any serious complications.
The earlier you seek medical attention, the better your chances of reversing the earliest stages of rotten teeth and preventing their progression.
However, if you do not get early treatment for cavities, then it can cause pain and other complications.
Treatment of rotten teeth or cavities depends on the severity and your situation.
Learn more about stages of tooth decay and move towards the treatment options as follows:
Dental Fillings and Crowns
Fillings or dental restorations are the main treatment option for rotten teeth it is the latter or advanced stages.
Fillings are made of different materials like resins, porcelain, tooth-colored composites, or dental amalgam.
You can discuss the options with your dentist as well as their effectiveness, advantages, and possible disadvantages.
A dental crown is an option if you have extended tooth decay. These are tailor-made or custom-made dental caps that replace your tooth’s whole natural crown, thus preventing more damage.
During the procedure, your dentist will drill a hole and remove the dentin that has an infection in it.
Then, they will place a tooth cron that is a good fit for your tooth. Crowns are either made of gold, porcelain, resin, porcelain-infused with metal, or other materials.
If your cavities are in the early stages, then a fluoride treatment can help to restore the enamel of your tooth.
It can sometimes even reverse the process in the early stages.
Getting a professional fluoride treatment is beneficial, as regular tap water, toothpaste, or mouth rinse contains less amount of fluoride than an in-office treatment.
Fluoride treatments may consist of gel, foam, or varnish that your dentist will brush over your teeth.
They may also place a small tray that fits over your teeth for the treatment.
Root Canal and Extractions
In case, the damage to your tooth is extreme, your dentist will recommend a root canal treatment or extraction.
Both these procedures depend on the severity of damage to your tooth.
When decay reaches the inner part of your tooth i.e. pulp, you will need a root canal treatment. This helps to repair and save the damaged tooth keeping the roots intact.
They will remove the pulp of the tooth and apply an antibiotic to improve infection. After some time, after the infection clears, they will place a filling to stop the infection.
If there is excessive damage to your tooth and is affecting the others as well, then your dentist will remove the tooth.
The procedure can leave a tooth gap, which allows other teeth to move or shift.
However, you can also get a dental bridge or an implant to replace the missing tooth.
The following can increase your chances of developing a rotten tooth:
Location of your Tooth: In most cases, decay can affect your molars and premolars.
These teeth have grooves in them and can collect food particles. As a result, it can often be hard to clean them.
Foods and Drinks: Sticky foods tend to cling to your teeth like milk, ice cream, honey, etc, and are more likely to cause damage than other food items.
Frequent Snacking: When you snack frequently or sip sugary drinks, then the acidic attacks on your enamel increase.
This increase in acid attacks can cause damage to the enamel.
Feeding Bottles: When you give your child feeding bottles at night, the remaining particles stay on the teeth for hours.
Inadequate Brushing: When you do not clean your teeth properly, plaque can form and it is the first sign of decay.
Age: Your age can also put you at risk of developing cavities.
Children and younger adults are especially prone to them.
Worn fillings or dental devices: If dental filling weakens over time, and form rough edges, can result in the formation of plaque.
Eating Disorders: Anorexia and bulimia can lead to tooth erosion and cavities. Also stomach acid from vomiting can dissolve the enamel.
When you do not take cavities and tooth decay seriously, then it can lead to complications.
These are pain, tooth abscess, swelling, damage to the tooth, chewing problems, and position shifting.
However, if they become severe, you may have
- weight loss or nutrition problems
- tooth loss
- excess pain that interferes with your life
- a pocket of pus or tooth abscess
Preventing Rotten Tooth
Good oral and dental hygiene is key to preventing any dental issues.
You can also consult your dentist and ask for tips to protect your teeth. These are:
- using mouth rinse
- avoiding frequent snacking and sipping
- using fluoride toothpaste
- getting dental sealants
- eating a well balanced and healthy diet
- fluoride treatment
- visiting your dentist bi-annually
Tooth decay or rotten teeth can be a serious dental condition, especially, if you do not an early treatment.
You should visit your dentist at least twice a year as they can diagnose the signs and symptoms of cavities and provide early treatment. This can help prevent and even reverse the damage in the early stages.