July 06, 2023 • 5 mins read

5 Early Warning Signs of Tooth Decay You Shouldn’t Ignore

Are you worried about tooth decay? Learn about the 5 early warning signs of tooth decay that you shouldn't ignore and how to prevent and treat tooth decay.



Danielle Duncan

Warning Signs of Tooth Decay

Have you ever felt a sharp pain in your tooth while biting into something? Or noticed a dark spot on your tooth that wasn’t there before? Taking these early warning signs of tooth decay seriously is an important step in protecting your teeth. What causes tooth decay exactly? Tooth decay affects people of all ages and is an extremely common dental problem. Ignoring these signs could lead to more serious dental issues down the line, such as cavities, gum disease, or even tooth loss. In this post, we’ll discuss five early warning signs of tooth decay that you shouldn’t ignore.

1. Tooth Sensitivity

If you experience sudden and sharp pain in your tooth while eating or drinking something hot or cold, it could be a sign of tooth decay. This sensitivity occurs when the enamel, the outer layer of your tooth, wears down, exposing the sensitive dentin underneath. Tooth sensitivity can also be a sign of gum recession, which exposes the roots of your teeth, making them more sensitive to temperature changes.

2. Bad Breath

It should come as no surprise, tooth decay smell can cause a foul smell on the breath. Chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be a sign of tooth decay. When bacteria in your mouth break down food particles, they produce foul-smelling gasses that can cause bad breath. Tooth decay can also cause an unpleasant taste in your mouth, which can contribute to bad breath.

Warning Signs of Tooth Decay
3. Dark Spots on Your Teeth

Dark spots or stains on your teeth are a sign of tooth decay. These spots can be brown, black, or gray and can occur on any surface of your teeth. They are caused by bacteria that produce acid, which dissolves the enamel and creates a cavity. If left untreated, these cavities can grow larger and cause more damage to your tooth. Of course, dark spots are a later stage cavity sign, during stage 1, early cavity demineralization or “white spots” may be seen. If these are found, a trip to the dentist may be in order to prevent a cavity from forming. 

4. Pain While Chewing

If you experience pain while chewing, it could be a sign of tooth decay. This pain can be sharp or dull and can occur in one or more teeth. It is caused by the decayed tooth being unable to handle the pressure of chewing. Pain while chewing can also be a sign of a cracked tooth, which can occur as a result of tooth decay.

5. Swollen Gums

Swollen gums are a sign of gum disease, which can be caused by tooth decay. Gum disease occurs when bacteria in your mouth infect your gums, causing them to become inflamed and swollen. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious dental problems.

If you experience any of these early warning signs of tooth decay, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist can diagnose the problem and provide you with the necessary treatment to prevent further damage to your teeth. To prevent tooth decay, be sure to brush and floss your teeth regularly, avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks, and visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. By taking care of your teeth, you can ensure a healthy and happy smile for years to come.

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