Dental cavities are bacterial infections that are likely to cause tooth decay over time. The bacteria from sugar and food sit on the teeth and gums to produce toxic acids and enzymes that corrode and destroy teeth over time. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to pain, infection and tooth loss. That's why a visit to the dental clinic is vital when you start seeing signs and symptoms of tooth decay. Here are some symptoms to help you get to the root cause of cavities.  

Visual Chalky White and Brown Spots

The first sign of tooth decay and cavities is the advent of chalky white sports on the surface of teeth. This indicates an area where the tooth enamel becomes demineralised. As the enamel continues to get demineralised, the tooth decay starts becoming more noticeable on your teeth. When minerals continue to get lost, you'll notice the tooth decay getting brownish. A high sugar or carbohydrate diet is responsible for causing tooth decay.

Prolonged Toothaches

Once the tooth starts to decay on the tooth enamel, it may open and uncover the dentinal tubules – these tubules connect to the tooth's nerve and will cause a toothache. Exposure to extremely cold or hot items may enhance the pain. High acid drinks like colas, synthetic fruit juices and sports drinks may speed up the tooth decay process, causing prolonged toothaches. It may be wise to visit a dental clinic the minute you start experiencing excruciating toothaches.

Persistent Bad Breath

Bad breath is another sign of imminent cavities and tooth decay. Not drinking enough water or damaged salivary glands may lead to bad breath. Poor oral hygiene and not using toothbrushes properly for cleaning teeth may cause bad breath and ultimately will lead to tooth decay. If you notice persistent bad breath, you should visit a dental clinic to identify whether your teeth are starting to decay.

The Treatment

Small tooth decay cavities usually require a simple filling at the dental clinic after a drill removes the decayed portion of the tooth. A larger cavity may require a custom-made crown, which is glued onto the tooth stump. If the cavity has penetrated through the teeth and injured the gums, you may need a root canal or tooth extraction procedure. A root canal is ideal when the tooth pulp dies from an infection. This pulp that includes the vascular tissues and nerves may be removed with the decayed material for a root canal procedure. Tooth extraction works when a decayed tooth can't be restored. Tooth extraction may also be advised for patients who are unable to undergo the expenses of restoring teeth back to normal. For more information, contact your local dentist