Rotten Teeth Symptoms and Treatment
Rotten teeth are painful and unhealthy – they can also be embarrassing. Tooth decay can eat away at teeth, starting from the enamel at the surface and continuing deep into the tooth. The decay that causes rotten teeth also causes dental pain, bad breath, and other health problems.
The good news is that fixing the problem is probably not as difficult or expensive as you might think. Make an appointment at Solis Dental for a proper consultation – do not delay, as the longer you wait, the worse your rotten teeth can get.
Causes of Rotten Teeth
The tooth decay that causes rotten teeth is often the result of eating sugary or starchy food combined with poor oral hygiene. More than 6 million bacteria live in the mouth; some bacteria are “good” and promote health, while others provoke disease. Bad bacteria feed on the sugars and starches you eat, and in doing so, produce acid that erodes tooth enamel. The bacteria can also combine with food particles to create plaque, which is a sticky substance that coats teeth. Plaque holds bacteria to the teeth, where the bacteria and acids erode tooth structure.
Regular brushing and flossing can remove plaque, but skipping the oral hygiene routine allows plaque to remain on teeth. Left in place, plaque can harden into tartar, which is much harder to remove. The bacteria and acid wears away the enamel, which is the tough outer surface of the tooth. Once through the enamel, plaque attacks the next layer of tissue, known as dentin. Finally, the bacteria and acid can eat away at the pulp, which is the tissue that contains the nerve and blood vessels serving the tooth.
Plaque and tartar can irritate the gums to cause inflammation, pain, and sometimes bleeding. Inflammation can cause pockets to develop between the teeth and gums; plaque, tartar, bacteria and food particles can fill these pockets, to cause tooth decay far beneath the gum line. Tooth decay can affect the roots of the teeth and even the jawbone, which can lead to severe tooth decay and even tooth loss.
Symptoms of Rotten Teeth
The signs and symptoms of rotten teeth can vary from person to person and even from tooth to tooth. The severity of symptoms can also vary, depending on the extent and location of the tooth decay. You may not notice any signs or symptoms at all when tooth decay is just beginning, but the symptoms become more apparent as the cavity gets larger.
The signs and symptoms of rotten teeth include:
- Toothache, usually of sudden onset
- Tooth sensitivity to temperature or pressure
- Mild to severe tooth pain, especially when biting down, or when eating or drinking something hot, cold, or sweet
- Black, brown, or white stains on any surface of a tooth
- Visible holes or pits in your teeth
Rotten Teeth Treatments
Dentists can usually fill cavities of all shapes and sizes, as long as the decay has not spread to the pulp. In cases in which cavities have spread to the pulp, the dentist may recommend a root canal that cleans out the decayed material in order to spare the tooth. Sometimes cavities are so large that the filling would be larger than the remaining tooth; in these cases, dentists will recommend a crown that protects and holds the remaining tooth together.
Unfortunately, even the best dentists cannot save every badly decayed tooth. In these cases, your dentist may recommend restorative options, such as dental implants or a bridge. If the entire set of teeth is rotten, dentists may recommend replacing them with implants or dentures.
If you have rotten teeth and do not know where to turn, come into Solis Dental where we can help you make the best decision. Our team of dental professionals can determine the severity of your tooth decay and recommend a treatment plan. Contact us today.
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