Stages of Tooth Decay


Tooth decay is one of the dental conditions you risk contracting if you fail to observe proper oral care practices. It is usually characterized by severe pain on the affected tooth. This condition can be treated in its early stages to lower the chances of it worsening and tooth loss which happens in the long run. Fluoride varnish is one of the products you can apply to your teeth to improve this condition. It has proved to be one effective treatment for many people.

If your condition persists, then you should visit your dentist. They have all the tools and expertise required to check the status of your teeth. Your dentist will use some products to help improve the state of your teeth. Some of the best products available for such treatments are available at Wonderful Dental. If you want more information about tooth decay in children you can check up articles  from professional dentists, with many years of experience!

What you should know about tooth decay is that it is an escalating condition which gets worse with time. It may take months or years before the effects become more visible. You will only experience some slight pain on the affected tooth during the early stages. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria on your teeth break down sugar from some of the food and drinks you consume to produce acid. This acid is responsible for the wearing out your enamel, exposing you to tooth decay.

The Stages

Tooth decay is a progressive condition which goes through several stages. You should move in fast to save the state of your teeth in any of these stages to minimize the chances of it becoming worse. Here are the stages of tooth decay.

Enamel Abrasion

This is the initial stage of tooth decay where the signs of attack on your enamel start showing up. White or brown spots will start forming on the surface of your teeth. It is usually as a result of the acid action taking place. The wearing out happens because of demineralization of your enamel. This may also be as a result of the loss of calcium. It is the first stage that can be detected easily. Less pain is experienced during this stage, so it might be hard for some people to tell whether their teeth are in good shape. You can move in to improve your condition at this stage before it escalates.

Enamel Decay

Decaying of the enamel is the second stage of tooth decay where the surface of your teeth becomes damaged, and cavities start to form. Fixing your enamel during this stage can be difficult because of the extent of demineralization that has taken place on your enamel. The effects are very visible during this stage and your dentist can see the extent of your enamel damage clearly through x-ray tests. Pain experienced during this stage depends on the size of the hole or cavity that forms on your enamel. You will experience more pain if it is deep. Visit your dentist to find out how your condition can be improved.

Dentine Decay

Dentine is the coating of materials found below your enamel. It is made up of fewer minerals, and its primary role is to offer support to your enamel. During this stage of tooth decay, the acid action taking place on your enamel may extend to the dentine. This usually happens if you fail to take proper measures to control your situation by seeking early treatment. The dentine is very sensitive so this will worsen its condition further. You will start experiencing some very sharp pain during this stage. Seek medical attention immediately to improve your situation.

Pulp Debilitation

Bacteria responsible for tooth decay spreads to other parts of the affected tooth. One part of your tooth it will reach is the pulp. It is the part that contains blood vessels, connective tissue, and the nerves. Bacteria that encounters this part of your tooth can kill the nerves and blood vessels found there. Root canal infection is one of the conditions you will experience as a result. This stage is very painful because of the high number of connective tissues and blood vessels in your teeth.

Dental Cyst

An abscess or dental cysts will start forming if your condition goes untreated. This is a swelling that is full of pus. You will experience severe pain as a result. Cyst formation is the final stage of tooth decay which might result in tooth loss if it goes untreated. It is also during this stage that bacteria can spread to your jawbone if untreated for long. The only option you might be left with during such a stage is tooth extraction. You should always move in fast to prevent or manage tooth decay on time to prevent your condition from worsening.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay

The following are some of the best ways to prevent your tooth from decay or cavities.

Professional Cleaning

Also known as deep cleaning, it is a procedure that helps in getting rid of plaque and other germs from your teeth. Plaque is usually difficult to remove through brushing, and it also harbors a lot of bacteria responsible for tooth decay. Professional cleaning is the best way to get rid of it because your dentist uses tools such as scrapers and products like prophylaxis paste, which are vital during the process. Your teeth will be completely clean and free from any bacteria that brings about tooth decay.

Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride is a product that proves to be beneficial in preventing tooth decay. It is usually applied to your enamel, making it stronger. You will find it in different products meant for dental treatments with varying concentrations. Visit your dentist who will help establish the perfect amount for your treatment and administer it correctly. Fluoride makes your enamel stronger which is vital in preventing tooth decay and the formation of cavities. Using it also prevents the inhibition of bacteria on your teeth.

Brushing and Flossing

These are two common practices that can play a crucial role in keeping your teeth free from bacteria and preventing the chances of tooth decay from occurring. Food remains on your teeth create room for bacteria which may lead to several dental illnesses. Brushing is a simple procedure that helps to get rid of the food particles from your teeth. You should also floss to remove the remains in between your teeth which are usually difficult to remove through regular brushing. Make sure you use fluoride-containing toothpaste and a brush that is soft on your teeth and gums. Brushing should be carried out after every meal while flossing should be done at least once a day.

Avoid Sugary Foods

The leading cause of tooth decay is how bacteria break down sugar from the food you eat to produce acid that leads to wearing out of your enamel. You should avoid sugary foods and limit their intake at all costs. Fizzy drinks and some juices contain high levels of sugar which increases the chances of tooth decay. Starchy foods also contain some sugar content responsible for tooth decay. You should follow all these procedures to reduce the chances of experiencing tooth decay.

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