Correcting Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is a well-known common problem that affects people of all ages. Caused by the buildup of plaque, it leads to the breakdown of the tooth enamel.
In this article, we will discuss tooth decay in detail and the different treatment options for correcting it. These options include crowns and bridges, cleanings and fillings, and root canal therapy.
What are the stages of tooth decay?
Tooth decay progresses through five stages, each with its own set of symptoms and characteristics.
The first stage, known as the initial lesion, is characterized by a loss of minerals from the tooth enamel.
In the second stage, known as the enamel lesion, the tooth enamel begins to soften, and a white spot may appear on the tooth.
The third stage, known as the dentin lesion, involves the tooth enamel’s breakdown and a cavity’s formation.
In the fourth stage, known as the pulpitis lesion, the decay has progressed to the nerve of the tooth, causing pain and sensitivity.
In the fifth and final stage, known as the periapical lesion, the infection has spread to the bone surrounding the tooth, resulting in an abscess.
Tooth decay can lead to serious dental problems if left untreated. It can lead to infection, tooth loss, and gum disease. Fortunately, treatment options are available to correct tooth decay and prevent further damage to teeth.
Root canal therapy is a common treatment option for teeth that have decayed to the pulpitis lesion stage. This procedure removes the infected or inflamed nerve tissue from the tooth. The root canals are then cleaned and shaped. They are then filled with a special material.
Root canal therapy can help save the tooth from extraction and prevent the infection from spreading.
Dental fillings are another treatment option for tooth decay. During this procedure, the decayed portion of the tooth is removed, and the area is filled with a composite resin material. This treatment can help prevent further decay and restore the tooth’s function and appearance.
Crowns and bridges are used when tooth decay has progressed to the point where a dental filling is insufficient. A crown is a cap covering the entire tooth, while a bridge replaces one or more missing teeth.
Crowns and bridges can help restore the tooth’s function and appearance and prevent further decay.
Fluoride treatment is another option for preventing tooth decay. Fluoride is a mineral. It is applied to the tooth to strengthen enamel and prevent decay. It can be applied topically to the teeth in the form of a gel, varnish, or foam.
Tooth extraction may be necessary if the decay has progressed to the periapical lesion stage and the tooth cannot be saved with other treatment options. During this procedure, the tooth is removed from its socket in the jawbone.
When to go to the dentist?
Visiting the dentist regularly for cleanings and fillings is essential to prevent tooth decay. However, there are also certain symptoms that may indicate the need for immediate dental attention. These symptoms include tooth pain, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, bad breath, and visible holes or pits in the teeth.
Untreated tooth decay can lead to severe complications like infection, tooth loss, and gum disease. If you suspect that you have tooth decay, seek medical assistance from your dentist as soon as possible.
There are various treatment options available for tooth decay. It is crucial to identify the stages of tooth decay, understand the treatment options available, and seek medical attention when necessary to prevent further dental problems.
Regular dental check-ups, going for cleanings and fillings when necessary, and good oral hygiene practices can also help prevent tooth decay and maintain good dental health.
Contact Ashraf Dentistry today for more information.