Tooth decay is among the prevalent and preventable chronic diseases in children and adults. Tooth decay may be symptomless, up until the point where a cavity or abscess forms, causing pain and discomfort. Regular checkups can help us find and address tooth decay before it snowballs into something much worse.
Symptoms of tooth decay or a tooth abscess include:
- A toothache
- Swelling in the gums
- Bad breath/taste in the mouth
- Gray, brown, or black spots on your teeth
Preventing Tooth Decay
- Adjust your diet for healthier foods, low in sugar
- Brush and floss a minimum of two times each day.
- Use a mouthwash or rinse regularly.
- Schedule and keep routine visits to the dentist
- Fluoride treatments
- Dental sealants for children or adults with no cavities on their back molars
Treatment of Tooth Decay
Fillings: Decay is removed and filled with a material to stop the spread and fill the cavity left behind.
Crown: A tooth-shaped cap to protect the tooth in more extreme cases
Root canal: Removal of the infected pulp, if any, of the tooth. A crown is placed afterwards.
Extraction: Removal of the tooth in the case of severe, irreparable decay.
What is a tooth abscess?
A tooth abscess is an infection that occurs at the root of a tooth or between the tooth and gum. It’s the result of severe decay or trauma, and comes with symptoms such as fever, tooth pain, bad breath, swelling, swollen glands, or open sores.
Is tooth pain a sign of tooth decay?
This is a potential sign of tooth decay – if you’re experiencing pain, you should have it examined as soon as possible.
Is tooth extraction necessary if you have tooth decay?
Only in severe cases of decay, after all other options have been exhausted.