Rotten teeth can cause pain and embarrassment, as well as potentially lead to more serious health problems if left untreated. Discover the facts about rotten teeth and how to keep your oral health in the best condition.
How Do Dentists Treat a Rotten Tooth?
The term ‘rotten teeth’ is used to describe teeth that are decayed and have cavities. A rotten tooth can be painful and uncomfortable, and can also have a visual impact on your smile due to visible signs of decay.
What’s more, tooth decay that’s left untreated can cause serious health consequences in the future, so it’s important you visit your dentist regularly and make an appointment if you notice any signs of rotting teeth.
What causes a rotten tooth?
Poor oral hygiene: If you don’t practice good oral hygiene such as twice-daily brushing and daily flossing, plaque and debris can build up on and around your teeth. These can cause cavities, leading to decayed, rotten teeth.
Acidic and sugary foods: Foods high in sugar allow bacteria to develop in your mouth, while acidic food and beverages can cause rotten teeth by damaging the protective layer of tooth enamel on the tooth’s surface.
● Dry mouth: dry mouth
conditions can increase your risk of rotten teeth, as saliva helps to prevent the development of plaque. Dry mouth may be caused by certain medications, genetic factors, or medical conditions such as diabetes.
● Tooth grinding: If you regularly grind your teeth (a condition known as bruxism), you can wear away the outer layer of tooth enamel, leaving you more susceptible to tooth decay and rotting teeth.
● Recreational drugs: Substances such as ecstasy, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine can all have a negative impact on teeth and increase your chance of tooth decay and damage.
What are the symptoms of a rotten tooth?
While tooth decay may not always cause symptoms in the early stages, these are some of the signs that you may have a rotten tooth:
● Tooth sensitivity
● Pain in the tooth when biting down
● An unpleasant taste in the mouth
● Bad breath
● Grey, brown or black spots on the surface of your teeth
● Holes in the teeth
● Swelling and pus around the tooth (this is a sign that an infection has started)
● Loose or broken teeth
How is a rotten tooth treated?
The treatment for a rotten tooth will depend on the severity of the decay and how advanced it is.
For early-stage tooth decay, your dentist may advise reducing your sugar intake, as well as applying a fluoride substance to strengthen the tooth enamel.
For more advanced tooth decay, a filling or crown may be recommended in order to remove the dental decay and refill the hole in order to restore the tooth.
If the tooth decay has spread to the pulp, you may need to undergo root canal therapy in order to remove the decay.
In cases where there is significant damage, removal of the tooth might be the best option. The missing tooth can be replaced with a bridge, implant, or partial denture.
What can you do to prevent rotten teeth?
The good news is, you can greatly reduce your risk of ending up with rotten teeth by taking a few simple steps to ensure your oral health remains in good condition.
For starters, sticking to a regular oral hygiene routine will help to prevent tooth decay from developing or returning, so be sure to brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. Rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash may also help to strengthen tooth enamel.
Being mindful of your intake of sugary and acidic foods and drinks is also an important step in minimising your chances of developing rotten teeth. Enjoy these kinds of foods and beverages in moderation in order to keep your teeth and gums in the best condition.
Finally, keeping up with your regular dental appointments will help to identify any potential tooth decay or dental health issues in their early stages, in order to treat them quickly before they develop into more serious problems.
If you’re concerned about rotten teeth or need some advice on tooth decay, contact the friendly team at your local National Dental Care or DB Dental practice - you can book online today.