Rotting teeth are one of the most awkward dental issues one can go through. This is because of all the symptoms that they can present, not to mention noticeably bad breath to anyone nearby.
How Do Teeth Become Rotten?
The main reason teeth rot is due to a lack of dental hygiene over time. Teeth are very strong and stable, so generally takes a long time for a tooth to become rotten. Even if your dental care is lacking, there is some good news, teeth typically take as long as 6 months to years to rot, so if you skipped brushing last night you don’t have to worry. Missing one night every so often isn’t going to have much of an impact, but skipping frequently, or doing the bare minimum on a regular basis will definitely affect your teeth.
- Plaque – This is a colorless, sticky, transparent film that is produced by the bacteria buildup in your mouth. If it is not cleaned regularly it can build up and harden into tartar. This will cause tooth decay, and gum disease if given enough time.
- Tartar – Tartar is what happens when the plaque hardens, if it has formed tartar, you will need to make a dental hygienist appointment to clean it off your teeth. Tartar buildup can be very damaging to your teeth, gums, and the bone surrounding the roots.
Who’s More At Risk Of Rotting Teeth?
Common Causes Of Dental Decay
There are a lot of common causes of dental that affect most people at some point in their life. While you probably weren’t affected by all of them, you will most likely have experienced at least 1.
Poor Dental Hygiene
Easily the most universal cause of decay, poor dental hygiene is what happens when people forget, or neglect to take care of their teeth on a regular basis. They may also not realize what proper oral care should be and are therefore doing a substandard job of it.
Here’s what everyone should be doing for oral care as a minimum:
- Brush (preferably with an electric brush) for 30 sec on each quarter of your mouth. (2 min total) Also, brush your gums and your tongue.
- Floss each tooth on either side. Your flossing should take a minute or two. Try using a dental pick if you find standard floss too awkward.
- Mouthwash can be considered optional, but it is highly recommended. Take the recommended amount and swish it around your mouth for up to 30 sec.
Eating acidic foods, or foods that cause a lot of gastric reflux can also promote decay. Your stomach acid can dissolve teeth over time.
Smoking And Tobacco Product Use
Fluoride has been proven to help teeth, if you are living in a city where they don’t add it to the drinking water, or you only drink bottled water, you may want to consider procuring some fluoride-containing dental products.
Some people by no fault of their own have dental issues purely because of their genetics. You may have weakened teeth or teeth with thin enamel that would increase your odds of decay. For these patients, we recommend you pay very close attention to your oral health, as you may need a higher standard than most.
Symptoms Of Cavities
If you have a minor cavity that is between the teeth or is hard to spot, you may never notice it if it does not cause you any discomfort. However, most cavities will cause you some form of distress, this mainly includes:
- Blackish/brown spots or holes in your teeth.
- Toothache – Varying types of pain depending on the cavity.
- Sensitivity to hot or cold food or drink.
- Unexplained bad breath or taste
- Localized swelling of the gums.
What Are The Risks & Complication Of Rotten Teeth?
If the cavity is minor, you might never need to worry about it, however, if it is not minor, you should treat it right away, or else these symptoms could occur:
- Dental Abscess
- Local Swelling
- Fractured teeth
If you have had a toothache that has lasted for more than a day or is considerably severe, then you should immediately make a dentist appointment, you should never prolong treating a possible cavity.
What Are The Treatment Options For A Rotting Tooth?
The treatment of the cavity will entirely depend on how bad the cavity is:
- Partial (3/4) Onlays – Excellent for small cavities on the top of the tooth.
- Bonded Fillings – If the cavity is too big for a partial onlay, but still manageable, a filling may work.
- Root Canal Therapy – If the infection has gotten into the tooth, the inner pulp will need to be cleared out.
- Dental Crown – These are used for large cavities, or for teeth that have had lots of restorative work.