Early Detection of Tooth Decay

dental exam RockwallAlthough we all do our best to keep our teeth clean and healthy, occasionally we experience tooth decay. Discovering decay in its earliest stages can help us avoid extensive dental fillings or more invasive procedures such as crowns or root canal therapy. A regular dental exam is the most effective way to ensure decay is detected early.

Symptoms of Tooth Decay

Unfortunately, tooth decay tends not to present easily diagnosed symptoms in its early stages. When you began to show symptoms of decay, it is usually a sign that the decay has spread into the interior of the tooth. Some symptoms that you might have decay in a tooth include:

  • Toothache
  • Persistent headache
  • Extreme sensitivity
  • Dark spots or discolored areas in your tooth

If you see the dentist regularly, however, you are much more likely to find your cavities early. This is because your dentist takes X-rays that clearly show decay even in very early stages.

Protecting Your Child from Tooth Decay

It’s even more important for your child to visit a pediatric dentist regularly, because a young child is less able to communicate possible symptoms of decay. It’s possible you might notice dark spots or discoloration in your child’s teeth, or notice that his teeth seem uncomfortable. Abnormally bad breath could also be a sign of developing decay.

However, as with other health problems, prevention is a much more effective tool than looking for symptoms. Teach your child to practice diligent oral hygiene, and brush and clean your child’s teeth for him until he is old enough to successfully manipulate a toothbrush and floss. Ask your pediatric dentist about tools to help your child, such as special floss holders special toothbrushes designed for small hands. Your pediatric dentist might also recommend sealants when your child’s permanent molars begin to come in. By practicing a regular routine of oral hygiene, dental visits, and a good diet, you can help keep your child’s teeth cavity free.

Schedule your child’s next dental exam today!