Tooth decay, also known as cavities, can occur when the hard outer layer of the teeth is damaged and forms small holes. This condition is usually caused by bacteria in the mouth and is often a result of consuming sugary drinks and sticky foods like candy. Poor dental hygiene, such as inadequate tooth cleaning, can also contribute to tooth decay.
Generally, there are 5 stages of tooth decay. The following describes the different stages of tooth decay:
- Stage 1: Demineralization
The primary stage of tooth decay can happen in the form of discoloring of the tooth where one can see spots of white or brown on the surface of the tooth.
- Stage 2: Enamel Decay
The Enamel on the tooth breaks down to form a small hole which weakens it further and makes it more vulnerable to future breakdown.
- Stage 3: Dentin Decay
Dentin is a type of tissue that lies under the enamel. It is softer than enamel and has a few nerve endings. Because of its softness and vitality, cavities in dentine tend to grow faster than enamel and can also cause pain and sensitivity.
- Stage 4: Pulp Damage
The pulp is the most inner nerve in your tooth. It helps in providing sensation to the tooth. When the bacteria reaches the tissues of this pulp the nerve gets infected and inflamed which causes severe pain.
- Stage 5: Abscess
When tooth pulp infection starts spreading into the jaw at the bottom of your tooth it can lead to an abscess. Tooth abscesses can cause swelling in the gums, jaw or face and even lead to fever.
- Good oral hygiene is essential in preventing tooth decay.
- Regular dental check-ups can help detect and address any potential dental problems.
- Brushing teeth at least twice a day is crucial for good oral health.
- Flossing after meals helps remove any food stuck between teeth and prevents the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Limiting intake of sweets and sugary drinks can benefit both oral and overall health.
- Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is important for good health.
- Avoid snacking frequently as it can promote bacterial growth in the mouth, especially if not followed by flossing.
It is recommended to seek advice from a dentist promptly if you are still experiencing oral health issues despite following the aforementioned steps. Delaying treatment may result in a more intensive treatment approach, sometimes even extracting the affected tooth, if symptoms are left untreated. It is better to diagnose and treat any health issues early on rather than delaying treatment.
Contact Guildford Dental centre for early treatment of dental problems. Call our friendly team now on 08 6104 0370 and book an appointment.