Good oral health contributes to a healthy smile, teeth, and gums. Poor dental hygiene, on the other hand, can put you at risk for tooth decay, also known as a cavity or a rotten tooth.

Decay is caused by plaque, which is a sticky, colorless film that forms over the teeth. Plaque contains bacteria, and when these bacteria mix with sugar in foods, it creates an acid that eats away at the tooth. If left untreated, a severely decayed tooth can become loose and fall out, so it’s important to recognize the causes and symptoms of a rotten tooth.

Symptoms of rotten teeth

An untreated cavity can become larger and gradually affect the deeper layers of the tooth. Along with a hole, other signs of a rotten tooth include:

  • toothache
  • sensitivity to hot or cold
  • brown, black, or white spots on the tooth
  • bad breath
  • unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • swelling

A rotten tooth isn’t only an adult problem, it can also occur in infants, toddlers, and children. Symptoms of tooth rot in children are generally the same as those in adults but may also include swollen gums, irritability, and a fever, which indicates an infection.

Causes of rotten teeth

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Poor diet
  • Dry mouth
  • Dental crevices
  • Fluoride deficiency

With your help, we can continue to send dental supplies including toothbrushes, toothpaste, fluoride and education materials to these centers all in an effort to help each child, one smile at a time.

To donate, please visit: