Your oral health has an overall impact on your well-being. Unfortunately, you can suffer from different dental concerns, like tooth decay. It refers to the damage to your tooth structure caused by acids. When left untreated, it can lead to a hole or cavity in your tooth. Worse, this hole can grow larger and may even damage your entire tooth over time. 

Treatment of tooth decay early on can prevent your dental condition from getting worse. One of the best ways to avoid tooth decay is to watch out for its following signs and symptoms:

Holes on teeth

Tooth decay takes place when the enamel and bacteria infect the inner dentin. When a cavity eventually eats into your teeth, small holes can be formed in the enamel. Fortunately, you can easily address this problem by consulting your family dentist and getting dental fillings.

Bad breath and unpleasant taste

Tooth decay is caused by a bacterial infection that compromises your oral health. Since the bacteria in your teeth produces waste, you may suffer from bad breath and an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Make sure to book a dental checkup right away if you have persistent bad breath.

Pain or discomfort

Sharp, shocking pain every time you bite can indicate tooth decay. You may also have difficulty brushing or flossing certain areas of your teeth because of discomfort due to your exposed dentin that affects your teeth’s inner nerve.  

To ease your toothache, book an appointment with our dentists in Chattanooga. Our dental staff is highly trained and dedicated to serving you. We also strive to make your every visit pleasant, so expect to have a smooth dental experience each time you visit us.

Visible discoloration or dark spots

If you notice discoloration or dark spots on your teeth, you may have tooth decay. Even though these may look like simple staining, avoid assuming that you only have mild tooth discoloration. Check if the dark spot gets bigger, and when it does, schedule a dental appointment right away.

Swelling or bleeding gums

Bleeding or swollen gums can be caused by your tooth infection, especially when the affected area is near the gum line. If your gums bleed when flossing or brushing, you likely have tooth decay. It may also be a sign of gingivitis, so if this is your dental concern, make sure to see your dentist as soon as possible.

Sensitivity to hot or cold

Your dentin is exposed as the decay continues to infect your tooth. It is more porous and can cause sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks. You may also notice a surge of pain specific to your tooth, which may be a sign of tooth decay.

No symptoms at all

Tooth decay can be hard to spot if you don’t feel or see any changes in your teeth. When a cavity is small, you may not experience any signs or symptoms. Prevent the cavity from growing and determine if you have tooth decay by getting a regular dental checkup.


Tooth decay is a common dental condition that affects your overall health. To protect your teeth from decay, practice good oral hygiene and watch out for the signs and symptoms listed above. This way, you can spot the cavities sooner, prevent them from getting worse, and improve your chances of needing only a non-invasive dental procedure. 

Protect your teeth from decay and receive the top-notch dental care you need by reaching out to Shallowford Family Dental. We specialize in general, restorative, cosmetic, and pediatric dentistry and serve patients in Chattanooga. Book an appointment today!

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