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Dental Caries: Signs And Symptoms Of Tooth Decay You Must Watch Out For

Dental caries or tooth decay is one of the common dental issues. Here are some early signs and symptoms of tooth decay you must know to avoid severe complications.

Dental Caries: Signs And Symptoms Of Tooth Decay You Must Watch Out For

Dental caries can lead to tiny opening in the teeth that may gradually worsen with time


  1. Dental caries can lead to constant toothache
  2. Good oral hygiene can help you prevent dental caries
  3. See your dentist if you are experiencing symptoms of tooth decay

Dental caries commonly known as tooth decay or cavity is one of the common dental issues. According to WHO, Dental caries is a major public health problem globally and is the most widespread non-communicable disease (NCD). In tooth decay, the outer layer or the enamel of the tooth gets damaged and develop into tiny holes and openings. There are multiple factors responsible for this condition. Some of these are bacterial infections, too much consumption of sugary foods and drinks, frequent snacking, poor oral hygiene, dry mouth, some eating disorders and acid reflux disorders.

Dental caries or tooth decay: Know the signs and symptoms

Cavities start small and gradually become bigger. Noticing the signs and symptoms of dental caries can help seek adequate treatment on time. Here are some warning signs and symptoms of dental caries you must watch out for.

1. Tooth stains

The initial sign of tooth decay may appear as a white spot that darkens with time into brown-black stains or tooth discolouration.

Also read: Diabetes And Oral Health: Uncontrolled Blood Sugar Levels Can Lead To These Many Dental Issues

2. Pit or hole

When left untreated, pot or hole occurs on or around the stained area which in severe cases may lead to a fracture in the tooth.

3. Sensitivity to hot or cold

The enamel of the tooth starts to wear due to decay which results in exposure of the dentin layer present below enamel. Exposure of dentin to hot or cold food may stimulate nerve endings leading to unpleasant sensation in the tooth.


You may experience sensitivity to hot and cold as a sign of cavities
Photo Credit: iStock

4. Sensation to sweet

Just like hot or cold food sensitivity, sweet food may also lead to unpleasant lingering sensation in the tooth.

Also read: Beware! These Common Factors Can Lead Enamel Erosion And Increase Tooth Decay Risk

5. Toothache or abscess

When left untreated tooth decay invades the pulp of the tooth (soft tissue of tooth comprising nerve endings and blood vessels). Pulp exposure then leads to severe pain and even abscess formation in advanced cases.

Also read: Top 5 Dental Myths You Should Stop Believing

If you experience any of these symptoms with toothache, then you must pay a visit to your dentist.

(Dr. Yogesh Vats is a Delhi-based dentist)

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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