Tooth decay is prevalent among children and adults, and it can happen in different levels of severity. Once you realize some tooth decay symptoms, it is best to visit an emergency dentist to prevent more complicated cases, as if left untreated; you may even have to extract the infected tooth. North York emergency dentists believe that time is the most important matter you should consider in case of a dental emergency.In this article, you will be more familiar with the tooth decay symptoms, causes, treatment methods, and prevention of emergency dental cases due to tooth decay.
What is tooth decay?
The cavity is a type of tooth decay that occurs when oral bacteria produce corrosive acids. If the tooth cavity is not treated in time, it can cause pain, infection, and even tooth loss, all of which are considered emergency dental cases.
You should know that each tooth consists of three layers:
1. The hard outer layer is called tooth enamel.
2. The middle layer is called dentin.
3. The center of the tooth is called the pulp. This part includes the nerves and blood vessels.
Tooth decay must be treated at its early stages and before it reaches all the tooth layers, or it will lead to emergency dental cases.
What causes tooth decay?
Tooth decay can have many causes, but the most important one is the food you eat. The foods you choose to eat or drink directly affect your teeth and gums.
The common causes of tooth decay include:
Bacteria in the mouth: These bacteria convert foods, especially sugars and starches, into acids. Bacteria, acids, food particles, and saliva combine in the oral environment to form a viscous substance called plaque. Plaque builds up on the teeth 20 minutes after eating, and here is the starting point of tooth decay.
Acids in plaque: The acid in plaque damages the tooth enamel and creates holes in the tooth that are usually not painful until they grow and reach nerves or break the teeth. Untreated tooth decay will turn into tooth abscess and, eventually, tooth loss.
Carbohydrates (sugars and starches): Tooth decay in children and adults may be related to sugars and starches. These substances increase the risk of tooth decay. Sticky foods are more harmful than other types because they stay more on the teeth. Frequent eating of snacks increases the amount and duration of acid contact with the tooth surface.
Signs and symptoms of tooth decay:
When your tooth decays, it may have one or more of the following symptoms:
1. Tooth enamel discoloration
2. Tooth cavity
3. Sensitivity or toothache while eating (especially cold, hot, or sour foods)
4. Bad breath
5. Food getting stuck between teeth or flossing bad habits (decay can tear dental flossing)
The best way is to prevent the cavity from developing or progressing. Since we cannot kill the bacteria in our mouths, we need to reduce the amount of sugary and starchy foods we consume. That means we have to change our diet. Remember, sweetened beverages and juices are especially harmful to the teeth.