Are your teeth at risk of decay? You can avoid it becoming progressively worse by contacting your dentist today for the required treatment. If you’re suffering from sensitivity but you’re unsure of what tooth decay is, keep reading on!
What Is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay occurs when dental plaque coats your teeth, and the bacteria combines with sugars to form acid, which attacks your enamel. Your enamel no longer protects your teeth from discolouration, bacteria and disease and can lead to a cavity, periodontal disease and decay.
Below are the symptoms that cause tooth decay:
- Throbbing toothache
- General sensitivity and sensitivity to hold and cold foods
- White spots appearing on your teeth
- Halitosis or bad breath
- Tiny openings in your tooth (cavity)
- Bleeding and swelling gums (gum disease)
Why are you experiencing tooth decay? Well, it could be many reasons:
- Not brushing and flossing your teeth regularly
- Consuming a fad diet containing high volumes of sugar
- Drinking alcohol
- A physical accident or tooth trauma
- Not visiting the dentist regularly
Are You Not Visiting The Dentist?
The first mistake is not visiting the dentist regularly for a check-up. Whilst you may think your teeth and gums are healthy, this is a false interpretation where the dentist may uncover other aspects of your oral health that are causing concern. The dentist can advise further on the next steps and treatments where required. A professional opinion cannot be wrong!
The Available Tooth Decay Treatments
If the tooth decay progressively gets worse, treatments are available:
If a cavity has formed, this means a tiny hole or opening has appeared in the centre of the tooth. A dental filling will be administered to reduce further decay to the tooth. Fillings are available in all sorts of materials and colours.
Crowns act as a protector to your teeth if it’s either severely decayed or for general wear-and-tear. The dentist may recommend this if they believe your tooth does not need extensive treatment such as a root canal or tooth extraction. The dentist will drill away at the decayed area and apply the crown over the tooth to protect it. Check out our detailed article on the benefits of a dental crown.
Where the decay reaches the pulp (the inner layer of the tooth), then root canal treatment will be considered. The purpose of a root canal is to save as much of any healthy remains of the tooth as possible and remove areas of the tooth that are infected or damaged.
Tooth extraction is administered where a tooth is severely decayed and can no longer be repaired. This means that the tooth will need to be removed. The dentist will apply local anaesthesia to numb the area before using forceps equipment to gently remove the tooth from its socket. The dentist will recommend cosmetic treatments on top of this if required, such as dental implants.
If your mouth is full of bacteria, and your oral routine isn’t strong enough, the chances of tooth decay become greater. Your enamel becomes at risk where it can no longer act as a line of defence to keep your teeth and gums strong. Always brush and floss your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and consume foods friendly to your enamel.