• Warning Signs of Tooth Decay

    Man checking for signs of tooth decay.

    Tooth decay is a common problem that can occur due to various factors, including poor oral hygiene, unhealthy dietary habits, and certain medical conditions. Even though tooth decay may seem like a minor issue, if left untreated, it can lead to severe dental complications, such as infection, gum disease, and tooth loss. Therefore, it’s essential to be aware of the warning signs of tooth decay and seek professional dental help as soon as possible. In this blog post, we will discuss the eight warning signs of tooth decay that you should never ignore.


    One of the most common warning signs of tooth decay is a toothache. If you experience pain in your teeth or gums, it could indicate that the decay has advanced and reached the inner part of your tooth, where the nerves and blood vessels are located. The pain can be continuous or intermittent, and it may worsen when you bite or chew.

    Tooth Sensitivity

    If you have a sudden sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks, it may be a sign of tooth decay. Tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel layer, which is the outermost layer of your teeth, is damaged or worn down. Without proper treatment, the decay can penetrate the dentin layer, which is softer and more sensitive, and cause more severe pain and sensitivity.

    Bad Breath

    Bad breath, or halitosis, is a common symptom of tooth decay. The bacteria that cause decay produce a foul odor that can linger in your mouth, even after brushing and flossing. If you notice persistent bad breath, it’s essential to schedule a dental check-up to determine the underlying cause.


    Discoloration or dark spots on your teeth can be a sign of tooth decay. As the decay progresses, it can leave visible marks on your teeth, making them appear yellow, brown, or black. Discoloration can also be a sign of other dental problems, such as cavities, tartar buildup, or gum disease, so it’s crucial to have it evaluated by a dentist.

    Pits or Holes

    Cavities are a form of tooth decay that can cause pits or holes in your teeth. If you notice small depressions or pits in your teeth, it’s likely that you have a cavity. Cavities can cause various dental complications, including toothache, sensitivity, and infection, so it’s crucial to get them treated as soon as possible.

    Cracks or Chips

    If your teeth are chipped or cracked, it can make them more vulnerable to decay. Cracks and chips can also expose the inner layers of your teeth to bacteria and food particles, leading to infection and decay. If you have any cracked or chipped teeth, it’s essential to get them evaluated by a dentist.

    Loose or Shifting Teeth

    If your teeth feel loose or shift out of place, it may be a sign of advanced tooth decay. When decay reaches the roots and supporting structures of your teeth, it can weaken them and cause them to loosen. If left untreated, the decay can lead to tooth loss and other dental complications.

    Swollen or Bleeding Gums

    Swollen or bleeding gums are common symptoms of gum disease, which is often caused by tooth decay. When decay-causing bacteria accumulate on your teeth and gums, they can cause inflammation, bleeding, and infection. If you notice any swelling or bleeding in your gums, it’s crucial to schedule a dental check-up as soon as possible.

    Schedule a Dental Exam Today with Park 56 Dental

    Tooth decay is a dental problem that shouldn’t be ignored. By being aware of the warning signs of tooth decay, you’ll be able to catch problems early on before they become too severe. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this post, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with Park 56 Dental in New York. Our experienced dental team will provide you with the best possible care to ensure that your teeth remain healthy and strong. Remember, prevention is always better than cure!

  • Understanding the Different Stages of Tooth Decay: From Early Signs to Advanced Damage

    Checking for tooth decay

    Checking for tooth decay

    Understanding Tooth Decay

    You know that your dentist looks for signs of tooth decay, and you probably know that good oral hygiene and a nutritious diet can help prevent it. What you may not know, however, is that tooth decay happens in five distinct stages. If you can catch it in the early stages, it can be reversed, so it pays to know what you’re looking for when you examine your teeth. Here, we discuss the five stages of tooth decay, from early signs to advanced damage.

    The Five Stages of Tooth Decay

    • Stage One- Demineralization: You might not realize it, but there are initial warning signs before a cavity develops. The outermost layer of your teeth is made of enamel, the hardest tissue in your body, which is made mostly of minerals. When the tooth is exposed to plaque, the acids caused by bacteria cause enamel to begin to lose minerals. This mineral loss can be seen as white, yellow, or brown spots on the teeth, which can easily be seen on the front teeth but are often missed on the molars.
    • Stage Two- Enamel Decay: If the spots of demineralization go unnoticed or untreated, plaque buildup will begin to break down the enamel of the teeth. You might notice sensitivity, which is one of the first physical signs of damage. Weakened enamel can develop small holes known as cavities. This damage can’t be reversed, but a dentist can treat cavities with fillings, inlays, onlays, or crowns.
    • Stage Three- Dentin Decay: Under the enamel is the dentin layer, with tissue that is much softer and more sensitive than enamel. As decay progresses, it can spread quickly along this layer, leading to tooth sensitivity and discoloration. Chewing food may become painful, and so can consuming hot or cold food or drinks.
    • Stage Four- Pulp Infection: The innermost layer of the teeth is the pulp. This is the layer with the nerves and blood vessels that nourish the teeth and provide sensation. When pup is damaged, it can become inflamed and begin to swell, in a root canal infection. Root canal infections must be treated with endodontic therapy, removing the pulp, and capping the tooth, but if this isn’t an option, the tooth will need to be extracted.
    • Stage Five- Abscess: This is the final stage of tooth decay, in which untreated decay spreads beyond the tooth. Bacteria invades the pulp and the surrounding tissues, causing an infection and a pocket of pus known as an abscess. The dentist will need to drain the pus carefully, after which the abscess can be treated with antibiotic and antiseptic medications.

     What to Know About Kids and Tooth Decay

    Children are more susceptible to tooth decay than adults, because the enamel of baby teeth is thinner than that of adults. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tooth decay is among the most common childhood conditions in the United States. It might not seem like this is a particularly significant problem, since baby teeth eventually fall out, but it is very important to protect those little teeth. Children need their teeth for chewing and speaking, and baby teeth are the placeholders for adult teeth; losing them to decay can cause adult teeth to grow in incorrectly. To prevent childhood tooth decay, teach your children too brush their teeth thoroughly and limit sugary foods. Additionally, make sure your children have their first dental appointments by the time they turn one year old.

    Preventing Tooth Decay

    Good oral hygiene is the first line of defense against dental decay. Brush your teeth twice daily, floss regularly, and use mouthwash to reach the bacteria brushing and flossing can miss. Eating a nutritious diet and limiting sugar can help, and so can staying hydrated. See your dentist at least twice a year for checkups and cleanings, and so that the dentist can detect any early signs of decay.  Talk to your dentist to find out if preventive measures like fluoride treatments and sealants are right for you.

    Partner with Park 56 to Protect Your Teeth

    If you’re looking for a dentist in New York, why not choose the dentist voted best in the city? At Park 56 Dental Group, we offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.

    Park 56 Dental Group_1830990_Blog_August_2023_How to Choose the Right Toothpaste for Your Unique Dental Needs

    Meta description: With so many toothpastes on the market, how do you know which to choose? Park 56 Dental Group offers tips on choosing the right toothpaste for you.

    How hard can it be to choose a toothpaste?

    How do you go about choosing a toothpaste? It seems like it should be easy! Once you get to the store, though, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the options. With so many toothpastes from which to choose, how do you pick the right one? Here, we offer some helpful tips for choosing the right toothpaste for your unique dental needs.

    Know the Basics

    Toothpastes contain abrasive agents, flavoring agents, detergents, humectants, and detergents, and are available in gel, paste, powder, or tablet forms. There are two important things to look for in a toothpaste: fluoride and the ADA seal of approval. Fluoride has been proven to protect against tooth decay and help to remineralize teeth, and the ADA (American Dental Association) must verify that a product is effective before that product can display the seal of approval.

    Evaluate Your Dental Needs

    Think about what you want a toothpaste to accomplish for you beyond just cleaning your teeth. Some common concerns include bad breath, sensitive teeth, plaque, gum disease, tartar, and yellowing teeth.  Once you have assessed what you need, look for a toothpaste that fits with your concerns.

    • Preventing cavities: Fluoride is a major factor in preventing cavities and strengthening enamel. Choose a toothpaste with mild abrasives, like hydrated silica or calcium carbonate, to remove plaque and surface stains without damaging enamel.
    • Tartar control: Bacteria can cause biofilm on the teeth, and this can lead to plaque. When biofilm traps salivary calcium and phosphate, it crystallizes into tartar, also called calculus. While this is removed by the dental hygienist during your cleanings, it can be helpful to use a tartar control toothpaste in between visits. These toothpastes typically contain ingredients like zinc citrate and triclosan.
    • Sensitivity: Dental pain is typically due to dentin hypersensitivity. Toothpastes with potassium and fluoride can help with sensitivity, as can toothpastes with strontium chloride, calcium carbonate, or arginine. Using desensitizing toothpaste for at least eight weeks can help reduce dental pain.
    • Gum disease prevention: Toothpaste with ingredients that have antibacterial properties, like triclosan or stannous fluoride, can help prevent gum disease by reducing plaque and gum inflammation.
    • Controlling bad breath: Brush your teeth for two to three minutes, at least twice a day, with a fluoride toothpaste. Brush your tongue from back to front, or use a tongue scraper. Baking soda can be effective for eliminating halitosis (bad breath), either in a baking soda toothpaste or on its own.
    • Whitening teeth: There are several whitening toothpastes on the market, with bleaching ingredients like silica, pyrophosphates, and hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a good option because it is gentle and won’t cause irritation in your mouth. If you do experience any uncomfortable symptoms, contact your dentist.

    Choosing a Toothpaste for Children

    Children over age six typically use adult toothpaste. Before that, as long as the toothpaste meets the fluoride and ADA seal requirements, you can choose a fun toothpaste for your children, to encourage them to brush frequently. Look for fun flavors, sparkles and swirls, or toothpaste in a container decorated with fun characters or superheroes. Make sure, though, that you teach children to spit out the toothpaste instead of swallowing it, because ingesting toothpaste can lead to chronic fluorosis for kids.

    Partner with the Dentist Voted Best in New York

    If you’re looking for a dentist in New York, why not choose the dentist voted best in the city? At Park 56 Dental Group, we offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.