Dental caries are formed when the tooth enamel wears away due to excess bacteria and plaque buildups.

If left untreated, dental caries deepen and rot the teeth, which might lead to tooth loss.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey highlighted growing cases of tooth decay amongst adults. It found that 92% of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have dental caries in their permanent teeth and 26% have untreated decay.

However, it isn’t just an issue faced by adults. 42% of children aged 2 to 11 in the US experience dental caries in their primary teeth.

Let’s take a closer look at the signs and symptoms of tooth decay so that early intervention can be practiced to prevent further damage.


An infected tooth will make itself known with spontaneous bursts of pain. When dental caries slowly fester and grow, they lead to sharp, consistent pain. If a toothache evolves into a painful throbbing sensation, it is a sign of dental decay.


You will experience sensitivity in your decaying tooth when it comes in contact with hot and cold foods and beverages. The pain is often unbearable and patients can only wait for it subsides.


As teeth start decaying, hard foods become painful to bite into. You will experience severe pressure and excruciating pain when you try to chew. Consider consulting a dentist immediately if you notice pain in your teeth when chewing.


Your teeth will start losing their shape as visible holes and pits develop on the surface of the teeth. The ridges of your teeth will start to chip off and form cracks that slowly fill with caries and start the decaying process.

As you run your tongue across the teeth, you might feel the unnatural hollowness and the crooked edges.


When you smile with your teeth on display, you might notice visible signs of discoloration. The ridges of the teeth will have dark caries. The rotting teeth will lead to dark brown holes that will give off a grayish hue to the teeth.


Gradually, decay penetrates deep into the roots within teeth, leading to gum infections and in worse cases, forming of pus.

The pus pocket will be an angry red color and will be tender to the touch. It might burst while brushing and release toxic abscess leading to other severe oral issues.


No matter how many times you brush your teeth and rinse your mouth, your breath will smell bad. A persistent bad odor that doesn’t seem to go away no matter how hard you try is often a sign of decay.

Consider reaching out to a dentist if you can relate to any of the symptom mentioned above. While in mild cases of dental decay, a thorough cleaning will be enough, if it’s too bad, you may need to undergo a root canal.

We provide a range of treatment options for cavities and tooth decay. Our dental office located in Crystal Lake provides customers with all sorts of dental procedures, from same day dentures and cosmetic dentistry services to preventative cleanings.

Book an appointment today and get in touch with our team of professionals to help you with your dental needs and concerns.