Do you have tooth pain or discomfort in your mouth? It is possible that you may be dealing with tooth decay. How does tooth decay happen even if you brush your teeth each day and have good dental hygiene? It is important to understand what to expect and how to manage your oral health.
So How Does Tooth Decay Happen?
Tooth decay is a term used to describe the breakdown of the exterior of the tooth, the gums, and the roots. Tooth decay develops over time in a series of steps. You may notice it follow this pattern:
- You begin to see white spots appear on the outside of the tooth’s surface. These are indications that a buildup of plaque is occurring, and there is a loss of calcium in your teeth.
- The enamel begins to fail. It is located under the surface of the tooth. When this happens, irreversible damage can occur due to the lack of minerals.
- Dentin decay is the next step. If this continues, the enamel of the tooth is dissolved, and the dentin, the inner layer of the tooth, is exposed. You may notice pain at this point.
- The pulp of the tooth, where there are living tissues and nerves, is attacked by bacteria. This is when we need to use root canal therapy as a treatment.
- An abscess may form at this point. It is the final stage of tooth decay and often is very painful. The infection from the bacteria is severe and can reach the bones in the mouth. The gums and tongue can also be impacted.
- The tooth is so damaged it is lost. At this point, emergency tooth extraction becomes necessary.
How does tooth decay develop? Generally, it happens because bacteria are allowed to grow and flourish in your mouth. This may be due to poor oral hygiene, untreated infections, and other complications.
What Can Be Done About Tooth Decay?
At every stage of this process, you can stop tooth decay from worsening. Schedule a consultation with our general dentistry team. You will get a full oral exam and x-rays taken. This allows your dentist to determine the best course of treatment for your oral health. For some people, teeth cleaning procedures can help to remove much of the buildup of tooth decay.
In some cases, you may need more advanced dental treatment to remove tooth decay. For example, fluoride dental treatments can help to bring down the number of bacteria present in your mouth. At Lovett Dental, we can also schedule fillings and sealants to control the damage caused by bacteria and tooth decay.
If you have significant tooth pain and discomfort, that is a sign you need help soon. Our emergency dental services are available to help manage these instances and to begin the proper treatment processes. The sooner you reach out for routine or more invasive dental treatments, cleanings, and exams, the more likely you are to minimize tooth loss from decay. If you are experiencing pain from tooth decay, do not delay and seek treatment.
Improve Your Oral Health at Lovett Dental Cinco Ranch
You have asked the question. How does tooth decay develop? Now that you know the answer, it is time to get aggressive about your oral health needs. At Lovett Dental Cinco Ranch, we offer outstanding solutions to help you minimize your oral health complications. Contact us at 832.662.3059 to schedule a consultation.