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How long does it take decay to show on a tooth.



Well-known member
Forum Buddy
Jan 5, 2012
How long does it take for decay and a hole to appear in a tooth, please.
That's one of those "how deep is the sea" questions, it's not answerable, because it varies massively from person to person and from tooth to tooth even in the same person...

I realised recently, to my horror, that you can have a tiny indication of decay on the surface.... and like a pot holers dream, below there is a cavernous labyrinth!!! :o
Thank you both I am asking because in March I had a rct on a tooth, in June I was told that there is a hole in this tooth, I would have thought the hole would have been there before the rct. Can it have decayed and got a hole in the side of it within 3 months. :butterfly: I think it is on my gum line, it had been x rayed a couple of times as well before, during and after the rct was done.
Yes, it's possible. The decay wouldn't show up on the x-rays either unless it was very large. You can't use x-rays to diagnose decay at the gumline (on the cheek or tongue sides of the tooth anyway).
Thank you Gordon, I am surprised, having had 14 visits to the dentist since Sept, I would have thought it would have been spotted.

With that in mind then I think we need check ups more often, but I don't think that will happen. I thought I understood about keeping teeth clean and looking after them until I came on this forum and I new not very much at all. But I am learning fast :butterfly:

Could a womans age bring on oral problems or is it down to cleaning and diet at over 50, when the teeth have been looked after and had regular check ups through life.
There's no statistical link between age and dental problems, but fillings and so on have a limited life span and quite often all start to fail 30+ years after being placed, which usually coincides with late middle age. :(
So that makes me in old age ;)
I think Gordon got that one wrong - if 40 is "late youth" :cool:, then 50 must be early middle age, and 60 middle middle age :hmm:.
The filling in the tooth is only 5 years old so that cannot be the excuse. I would have thought that there would have been signs that a dentist would spot and do a filling before it became a hole. :butterfly: