You would think that if you have rotten teeth, you would know it. But you’ll be surprised how many people don’t recognize the symptoms.
Signs of a rotten tooth go beyond a toothache or black stain. Your teeth could be rotting right now, and you don’t even know it!
Is it likely? Actually— yes. According to studies, 92% of adults 20 to 64 have had dental caries in their permanent teeth.
Who are the most at risk? White adults with more education and more money are likely to have tooth decay.
Bet you didn’t expect that, did you?
RELATED: HOW MUCH DOES A TEETH CLEANING COST?
Symptoms of Rotten Teeth
We don’t mean to alarm you. Honestly, rotten teeth can be prevented if you just go to the dentist twice a year. We can spot a bad tooth with our 3D dental X-Rays, which we recommend once a year (it’s FREE at Lasry Dental Clinic in Los Angeles).
But just to put your mind at ease before your next dentist appointment, here are some symptoms of rotten teeth:
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Black, brown, or white stains
The toothache and bad breath will come well ahead of the staining (most of the time). Smoking will exasperate how quickly your rotten tooth starts to deteriorate.
Next, you’ll notice gum swelling and bleeding. followed by a cavity and more tooth discomfort. The last phase of the cycle before your tooth needs to be extracted (or it completely falls out on its own) is gum recession, cracking, and severe staining.
Bad Teeth and their Effects on the Body
You might not think that a rotten tooth is a big deal at first, but one small cavity can end up leaving lasting effects on the body.
One of the questions patients ask us the most is, “Can bad teeth cause headaches?”
Besides the long-term health effects on your body, the pain from rotten teeth is no joke. While yes, rotten teeth can cause headaches, that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Rotten teeth can also lead to:
- Jaw pain
- Sore throat
- Breathing difficulties
As you can see, rotten teeth not only cause you pain, but they can make you sick. So don’t let one bad tooth snowball into a slew of expensive medical problems.
If you experience any of the symptoms above, contact your dentist right away.
How To Fix Rotten Teeth
The key to fixing a rotten tooth is figuring out what stage you’re in.
So let’s start with the first stage:
Stage #1: Irritated Gums
Red and inflamed gums can lead to gum disease, which, in turn, can lead to rotten teeth. When the tooth doesn’t have a healthy base (a.k.a, your gums) to hold on to, it leaves room for plaque and debris to stick to and erode your teeth.
When To See a Dentist: Your gums have been bleeding for more than a couple of weeks.
Stage #2: Toothache
When To See a Dentist: It’s when that toothache leads to a cavity that you need to see your dentist. If you don’t, that cavity is going to dig deeper and deeper until you have a completely rotten tooth.
RELATED: FOOD THAT IS BAD FOR YOUR TEETH
Stage #3: Tooth Stains
Teeth discoloration can start from drinking too much wine and coffee. However, there’s a huge difference between a stain and a cavity, and you need to know the difference.
When To See a Dentist: There’s a visible hole in your tooth (a cavity), or your teeth stains are black or brown. Your dentist may recommend teeth whitening, but they’ll be able to confirm whether or not it’s rotten teeth.
RELATED: HOW TO BRUSH YOUR TEETH PROPERLY
Stage #4: Cracked or Chipped Teeth
Unless you get hit in the face with a hockey puck (or a right hook), a cracked or chipped tooth only happens because of a bad tooth.
When To See a Dentist: Immediately.
RELATED: WHAT TO DO ABOUT CHIPPED TEETH
Rotten Tooth Extraction Cost
Single tooth extraction will cost between $75-$200, while a single surgical extraction can cost anywhere between $250-$600.
Here’s what happens during a tooth extraction procedure.
What if I can’t afford to fix my bad teeth?
76.5 million Americans don’t have dental insurance. We get it— those copays can be outrageous.
If you have rotten teeth, but you’re avoiding them due to lack of funds, we highly recommend checking out these 3 resources:
- DENTAL INSURANCE: OPTIONS, COST, PRICING, AND WHAT IT COVERS
- HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GO TO THE DENTIST WITHOUT INSURANCE?
- HOW CAN I FIX MY TEETH WITH NO MONEY?