9 Common Causes and Signs of Tooth Decay

They say that your eyes are the window to your soul. Well, then your teeth a signal to the state of your overall health!

A lot of people will experience a cavity in their lifetime. Many will have bad breath on at least one occasion. Most will forget to floss several times a week. There is a lot that goes with dental health, some of it is our fault and some if it is… No, it is all our fault actually, from our poor dietary choices to the neglect of teeth, gums, and tongue.

A consequence of our bad choices is tooth decay, which is common from our high-sugar, high-acidic lifestyle, as well as a paucity of maintenance. So, what causes it? What are the symptoms? To help you understand more, here are nine common causes and signs of tooth decay:

1. A Poor Diet

In addition to a lack of proper brushing, rinsing, and flossing, a huge barrier to good oral health is your diet. If you were to conduct an audit of your diet in a day, you would realize that most of them are horrific choices for your health. Before you know it, cavities are prevalent and your teeth will decay.

From the high-sugar morning latte to the afternoon chocolate bar snack to the late-evening bite of cake, there are so many foods that contribute to the rotting of your teeth over time.

This is compounded by not brushing and rinsing after each meal.

2. Regular Snacking

Depending on what diet you are maintaining, you may be required to snack frequently throughout the day. Rather than have two or three big meals, some diets say that you should have small meals throughout the day, which does make sense.

The big problem, however, is that a buildup of acid in the food will eat away at your teeth and gums.

If you have the time and energy, then there is one way to overcome this obstacle: brush your teeth as soon as you finish eating something. Yes, this might seem tedious, especially if you are consuming crackers and hummus or a bag of potato chips, but it is necessary if you want great oral hygiene.

3. Receding Gums

Recession in your gums can cause a whole host of problems. The major problem is when plaque forms near the roots of the teeth. When this happens, you are shielded by tooth enamel and far more vulnerable to decay. There is very little you can do to reverse recession, except just take good care of your teeth, gums, and tongue.

4. Frequent Toothache

A day doesn’t go by where you do not experience a toothache. All day and night, a tooth or multiple teeth are aching. This is extremely uncomfortable and can even be painful. If you have yet to see a dentist, then you should be aware that this could be troubling signs of tooth decay.

5. Obvious Holes in Teeth

Are you noticing tiny holes in your teeth? Well, that is one of the warning signs of pending doom in your mouth. It is essential that you visit a dentist right away so that it will not become more serious than it needs to be. There is treatment that you can do, like filling in these holes. In some instances, you may have to get your teeth removed and replaced with dental implants instead.

6. Pits in the Impacted Area

Now that you are aware of these minuscule holes in your teeth, which could expand as time goes by, do you also notice pits in the impacted area? That is something to be concerned about, since they are potentially signs of tooth decay.

7. Growing Sensitivity and Pain

It is true that even people with immaculate gums and teeth will experience the odd pain or sensitivity. However, if the pain and sensitivity are frequent, then it could be the beginning of something that will need be examined or treated.

Anytime that you drink something cold or hot or munch on something hard and you are shouting, “Ouch! My teeth!” then you know there are problems in your mouth.

8. Bad Breath

No, your bad breath is not just because you had sauerkraut for lunch or because you ate a peanut butter, pickles, and sardines sandwich for dinner. Your bad breath could be the start of a myriad of health problems, not just tooth decay.

Remember, it is perfectly OK to have bad breath from time to time. Unfortunately, if this is a perpetual, lingering issue, then perhaps you should get it checked out.

9. A Bad Taste in Your Mouth

Everyone has a bad taste in their mouth if they just consumed something that was, well, not exactly from the culinary skill of Gordon Ramsay. But there are two things to keep an eye out on:

  • Does this bad taste form after every time you eat something?
  • Does it linger even hours after consumption?

If so, these could be early signs of tooth decay or another dental health setback.

As you get older, it is almost expected to endure dental health issues. After 60 or 70 years, it is more than likely that you may lose a tooth or need an extraction. That’s just life, though this will likely change in the future because we are much better at dental hygiene than previous generations. In the meantime, floss, brush, and rinse and you have already met the dental gods halfway!

  • Gretchen is a free-spirited blogger focused on ways to improve her spiritual and emotional health. She uses the MANDALA HEALS blog to dispense advice, tutorials & guides on various topics.

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