childrens dentist

What Are the Telltale Signs of a Decaying Tooth?

Posted on February 14, 2024

childrens dentist

Have you noticed any changes in your child’s teeth recently? Small problems today could turn into big toothaches tomorrow if you ignore the early warning signs of tooth decay. Knowing what a decaying tooth looks and feels like can help you get ahead of the damage before it’s too late. Read on to learn more from your friendly neighborhood childrens dentist about what to watch out for.

Sensitivity to Hot and Cold Is an Early Indicator

If you notice your child wince in pain every time they bite into an ice cream cone or sip a warm cup of hot cocoa, it likely means the protective enamel layer of their tooth has worn away. Over time, acids from food and plaque erode enamel, allowing hot and cold sensations to trigger nerves under the surface. Mild sensitivity is common, but consistent pain when eating or drinking hot or cold foods means it’s time to call your children’s dentist.

Visible Pitting, Holes, or Dark Spots Spell Trouble

Peer carefully at your child’s tooth after brushing and flossing. Do you notice any tiny holes or dark spots in their white enamel, especially along the gumlines? These spots likely indicate underlying decay eating away at the structure inside. Brown, black, or white pits and holes mean decay has progressed through the first layer of enamel and down into the more sensitive parts of the tooth. The deeper the penetration, the more urgently you need prompt care from a children’s dentist to prevent extensive treatment later on.

Bad Breath, Pus, or Gum Swelling Warrant Immediate Attention

Persistent bad breath, which your child can’t get rid of with brushing and flossing, gives another clear sign that decay has set in, especially if combined with pus discharge around their gums. The rotten smell comes from decomposition and bacterial buildup inside the tooth. Pus forms as the infection spreads, and your child’s immune system tries fighting it off. Inflamed, tender gums occur when an infection has made its way to the surrounding tissue as well.

Pay attention to your child’s mouth to catch decay before it goes too far. According to Colgate, 20% of kids between the ages of five to 11 have at least one untreated, decayed tooth. Call your children’s dentist at the first suspicion of dental problems for timely treatment. Call us today at Jacaranda Smiles to schedule an appointment to have your child’s teeth cleaned and looked at.

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