common symptoms of decay in teeth

In-between dental appointments, patients may have questions about their oral health and wellness. Some may wonder how they will know if they have a cavity forming in their smiles. Cavities, or tooth decay, are common conditions that impact the health of a smile, and can cause patients unwanted pain and discomfort. But not always—some patients will have cavities and not even know, which is why the team at Springs Dental stresses the importance of routine evaluations and cleanings with a dentist every six months. Dr. Daniel Pulsipher and his team at Springs Dental encourage patients to ask questions about their oral health and educate themselves further on tooth decay symptoms and signs.

What are the signs and symptoms of tooth decay?

Our dentist in Murrieta, CA finds that not all patients with cavities will know they are present. However, below are a few indications that a problem might be forming within the smile:

  • A change in the tooth’s color – teeth that change in color may be affected by decay or infection. The tooth structure may change gray or black. Yellowing is normal with time, and considered staining, but gray or black teeth may require immediate attention from a dental professional.
  • Sticky feeling on the teeth – if a tooth has decay, the tooth enamel in the area affected may become soft or sticky in feeling. If teeth are sticking together when biting down or chewing, this might be a sign of decay that needs attention.
  • Pain and discomfort, or a toothache – a tooth shouldn’t hurt, so if pain starts to develop, it needs to be evaluated by a dental professional. Not only could it be a cavity, but it may be a lost filling or sign of infection that requires root canal therapy.
  • Persistent bad breath (halitosis) – even if patients brush and floss each day, use mouthwash, and even use a tongue scraper, bad breath that continues to stay may be a sign that an infection or decay is present. Other conditions, such as dry mouth, can contribute to halitosis, so making the distinction regarding the cause is vital to finding a solution.
  • Sensitive teeth – some patients have sensitive teeth, but if a patient notices an increase in sensitivity that has not been present before, this might indicate a problem that needs attention. Sensitivity is often associated with sweets or foods and beverages that are extremely hot or extremely cold. Pain while consuming these items should be brought to the attention of a dentist.

What can be done about tooth decay?

When cavities are diagnosed, Springs Dental patients will be educated by their dentist, Dr. Daniel Pulsipher, about their options. Smaller cavities may be monitored with time, while larger ones will often benefit from the placement of a dental filling. In situations where the area of decay is rather severe, fillings and a dental crown might be placed. If the cavity has reached the inner canals of the tooth and has infected the dental pulp, root canal therapy may be used to save the tooth from extraction. With a proper diagnosis, patients can learn about the right tooth decay treatment in Murrieta for their unique needs.

Contact a dental office near you

If you are experiencing tooth decay symptoms and signs and live in or around the community of Murrieta, California, we welcome you to call the office of Dr. Daniel Pulsipher to get a full and thorough evaluation of your smile. With proper diagnosis and treatment, many patients can get their smiles back to proper health! Call (951) 461-2310 to request a consultation visit with our team of professionals. Springs Dental is conveniently located at 39755 Murrieta Hot Springs Road, Suite A110 and accepts new patients and families.

Call us today with any questions or to book your appointment!


Murrieta:  951-461-2310


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