Tooth Decay
Tigard, OR

A woman with tooth decay gettin an exam at Lincoln Center Smiles in Portland, ORGiven all the wear and tear that our teeth are exposed to, tooth decay is almost inevitable. While good dental hygiene can prevent the rate at which your teeth will decay, there may be times when you will need a professional dental cleaning. In most cases, patients experience tooth decay because they allow plaque to build up, which can lead to a wide range of problems, including dental caries, gum disease, and dental abscesses.

What are the Symptoms of Tooth Decay?

The earlier symptoms of tooth decay don't always cause pain; however, it can cause an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Here are some of the most common signs of tooth decay.

Lingering Sensitivity to Hot and Cold Foods

Sensitivity to hot and cold foods is a telltale sign that a cavity may be forming and that it's time to book an appointment with our dentists. Sensitivity usually occurs because of heavy erosion to the enamel on your tooth. This can affect the dentin, the hard tissue layer below the enamel. Without enamel to protect the dentin, any hot or cold foods will stimulate the nerves and cells inside the tooth, leading to higher sensitivity levels.


Ongoing pain is one of the main indicators of a cavity in your teeth. Some patients may experience a sudden toothache, which may be triggered by something you eat. This includes discomfort or pain around the mouth. You may also feel pain and pressure when chewing food.


Stains on your teeth often appear as white spots. This is usually an advanced stage of tooth decay, with the stain becoming darker as the cavity progresses. If the staining is caused by a cavity, it may appear black, white, or brown.

Hole or Pit in the Teeth

If the cavity gets worse and isn't treated early on, your tooth may develop a hole or pit that you could see in the mirror or even feel with your tongue. Note that some holes, especially if they are between your teeth or in crevices, cannot be seen easily or felt. However, the area may still cause pain or sensitivity to you. If you notice a hole or pit in your teeth, it's time to make an appointment with our dentist right away.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay

The best way to prevent tooth decay is to adopt good dental hygiene in order to fight cavities. You should also visit our dentists at least once every six months for regular dental cleanings. In some cases, you may also benefit from fluoride treatment to strengthen the enamel and make your teeth less susceptible to cavities and bacteria. Finally, it is highly recommended to apply dental sealants over your molars to prevent tooth decay and shield the surfaces of your teeth from cavity-causing bacteria.

Call us at Lincoln Center Smiles at (503) 598-0898 today to schedule your next dental exam.

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Tooth Decay | Lincoln Center Smiles | Tigard, OR
There is a constant battle in our mouths, a battle between us and decay-causing bacteria. Our team at Lincoln Center Smiles can help! Call us today to schedule an appointment!
Lincoln Center Smiles, 10500 SW Greenburg Rd, Suite 3, Portland, OR 97223-1406 ~ (503) 598-0898 ~ ~ 5/20/2024 ~ Related Phrases: dentist Tigard OR ~