Even though you may be doing everything you can to prevent the onset of tooth decay, your dentist may still locate one or two cavities during a regular checkup. You may be tempted to delay tooth decay treatment if you are not currently experiencing any pain, but putting things off does have a price: tooth decay will not fix itself, and what begins as a minor issue can rapidly develop into a serious problem that dramatically changes your treatment options.
Tooth decay is actually a quite sneaky condition that normally starts before you even realize it. A sticky film called plaque begins forming on your teeth, using sugars and food in beverages that you consume, to form acids. These acidic substances gradually wear away and dissolve the hard outer surfaces of your teeth. If this decay goes untreated, it will eventually find its way into every layer of your tooth.
You will not start noticing sensitivity and pain until tooth decay has reached into the dentin layer of your tooth. Dentin is composed of small nerve endings that easily grow irritated, leading to significant sensitivity whenever there is exposure to extreme temperatures or sticky and sour foods. Biting down on this area may also lead to discomfort.
Once tooth decay has reached the dentin layer, it rapidly progresses because dentin is much softer than your tooth enamel. As tooth decay progresses, you'll find that your pain grows more frequent and severe.
It is critical to realize that infection develops when bacteria and decay move into the pulp of your tooth containing nerves and blood vessels. An abscessed tooth causes persistent, severe pain that will definitely keep you up at night. Other symptoms include facial swelling, fever and a bad taste in the mouth. If you do not receive a dental filling for a tooth with a cavity, then the infection can spread and affect the inner part of your tooth, known as the dental pulp. This would result in the eventual destruction of the tooth, since the pulp contains nerves and a blood supply. At this stage, a root canal procedure would be necessary, where the dentist would remove infected tissue and seal the area to prevent further damage
Other than practicing regular oral hygiene at home, like brushing and flossing several times a day, the best way to prevent tooth decay is to keep up with your regular dental cleanings at your dentist. During your dental cleaning, your dental hygienist will be removing plaque and tartar from your teeth using a special scraper instrument. This will help to prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease that could result in the loss of a tooth. Our goal is to ensure that you keep all of your natural teeth for the rest of your life.
If tooth decay progresses enough, a dental filling will be required. Your dentist will begin by numbing the tooth to be treated using a local anesthetic that is delivered via injection. After the area has become completely numb, they will drill out and remove the decay.
Once the tooth decay is removed, your dentist will prepare the tooth for a filling. The specifics used at this point depend upon the type of filling that you are receiving.
Are you experiencing the signs and symptoms of tooth decay? Please contact Aesthetic Dentistry in Rockland County today to schedule an appointment so that we can check it out and provide treatment.
We take our patients’ privacy seriously. Please refrain from providing any personal health or sensitive information. Call us at(845) 735-7500to schedule your appointment over the phone.
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