A bad tooth may be from an abscess, a cavity, a fracture, chip, or several different reasons. One thing is the same, however. A bad tooth can cause a lot of problems relating to your oral health and your health in general. If you suspect that you have a bad tooth, you should consult with a dentist as soon as possible. Otherwise, you’re not only putting your teeth in jeopardy. You’re putting your entire health at risk. So how do you know if you should see a dentist about a tooth problem? Here are five telltale signs that you have a bad tooth.
1. You Have Chronic Halitosis
A rotting tooth commonly causes the smell of rotten breath. It’s possible to have a severe cavity in one of your teeth without being able to see or feel it. But if you seem to have chronic bad breath even though you brush and floss regularly, it’s likely that you have a bad tooth somewhere. A dentist should be able to locate and treat it for you.
2. You Have Severe Pain
A tooth that gives you pain is likely in very bad shape. Your teeth should never hurt. If you are experiencing severe tooth pain, then the nerve endings on that tooth are either exposed or being inflamed by some oral health condition. You can usually get temporary relief with an over-the-counter medication. But for long term treatment, consult a dental professional.
3. The Tooth is Loose
If you have a permanent tooth that is loose, that’s not normal. Your permanent teeth should all be firmly rooted in place. If one or more of your permanent teeth is loose, it’s a strong indicator that the tooth is bad and needs to be checked out by a professional.
4. The Tooth is Discolored
It’s common for teeth to get a little discolored from foods you eat or beverages you drink. But stained teeth and discolored bad teeth look different. First, bad teeth discoloration won’t respond to teeth whitening products or heavy brushing. If your tooth is starting to look gray, brown or black, it’s a bad tooth that needs to be treated immediately.
5. The Tooth Has a Pit or Hole in It
If you can visibly see a pit or a hole in a tooth, or even feel it with your tongue, you probably have a bad tooth that needs to be looked at by a dental professional. Pits or holes are called cavities. Left untreated, they can lead to severe periodontal conditions that only get worse the longer you put it off.
6. You Have Pain When Biting Down
If an area of your teeth gives you pain when you bite down, there’s a bad tooth in there somewhere. The pain may be from an exposed nerve, a chip in the tooth or a jagged edge. Whatever it is, it needs to be remedied as soon as possible.
Whenever you suspect that you have a bad tooth, make sure you consult with your dentist. Otherwise, the condition may spread to adjacent teeth, causing even more problems down the line.