Tooth decay is a sign of bad oral hygiene. It can occur when plaque is allowed to build up in your store.
This is when acid is produced, which can erode the tooth structure and gradually cause decay. Plaque is also responsible for various dental problems, such as dental caries, dental abscesses and gum disease.
The best way to minimize the risk of tooth decay is by visiting the dentist regularly and letting the problem be treated in its early stages.
Your dentist can do x-rays and check-ups to find signs of tooth decay and start the proper treatment.
Symptoms of tooth decay
You may not experience any pain even if there is gradual tooth decay. This is why most people are unaware of the problem plaguing beneath. And by the time they spot any signs of decay, it’s often too late.
Tooth decay symptoms not to ignore include:
- Toothache of any continuous nature or occasional variety
- Sharp pain in the teeth without any reason
- Tooth sensitivity with hot, cold or sweet foods or items
- Pain or tenderness when eating or drinking something hot or cold
- Bad breath of either occasional or persistent nature
- Spots of either black, brown or grey colour on your teeth
- Your mouth experiences an unpleasant taste
Treatments for tooth decay
The treatment for tooth decay often varies from person to person, depending mainly on the scale and complexity of damage.
The dentist will start a treatment based on how advanced the decay has reached. In general, the treatment may involve –
When the decay is in the early stage
In such cases, the dentist may apply a fluoride gel, varnish or paste to the area. The purpose is to let fluoride strengthen the enamel to save the teeth.
This is also done to minimize the dangers of acids causing tooth decay. The dentist may also ask you to reduce sugar in your diet.
When the decay advances from the early stages
When tooth decay goes past the early stages, a filling or crown is often needed to limit the damage.
In this stage, the dentist will remove the decay, use anaesthesia and then fill the hole using a suitable material. This is how decay is prevented from spreading further.
When the decay spreads to the pulp
The decay is very harmful if treated promptly. It can even spread to the pulp right in the tooth’s centre, where nerves and blood reside.
If that happens, root canal treatment remains the only option to remove the decay and save the tooth structure.
When the decay is not restorable
There will come a stage where the decay has advanced to a level where your tooth is badly damaged and not restorable.
In such cases, removal becomes the last option for the dentist. In this tooth decay treatment, the replacement is done with a denture, bridge or implant.
Shashi Das has been associated with a renowned dental clinic for many years. Now, he pens down the extensive knowledge he gathered working as a dental professional to help and guide people wanting to know more about tooth decay treatment.