Phase 1: Bacteria growth
Just like periodontal disease and a number of other dental concerns, decay begins with harmful bacteria that have found refuge within the mouth and begun weakening your otherwise healthy structures. It is true that they are present within every grin and attempting to rid them all is virtually impossible, you can take strides to up your preventive care routine to try and keep them at bay.
Oral bacteria thrive in the hard-to-clean areas of the mouth such as the gums, back molars, and in-between structures. Once they have nestled into an area for protection, they begin to feed off of the food particles and sugar you consume, resulting in the releasing of harmful acids that catalyze the process of breaking down your teeth. Once this has gone on for some time, a hole begins to form known as a cavity.
Cavities are one of the earliest stages of decay, and can often be treated with a dental filling. The process involves removing the infected portions of the structure, then filling the opening with the composite material. If you do not act with efficiency, however, this option may fail and you may need to seek another alternative.
Phase 2: Decay spreads to the inner pulp
When decay spreads, it moves from the outside of a structure inwards. This means that the inner dental pulp and nerves are next to fall victim to decay. During this stage, you will begin to experience sharp pains and sensitivity, as well as difficulty with certain functions. Your dentist may also recommend treatment at his point with a root canal procedure in order to remove the infection from within, as well as attempt to save your natural tooth.
Phase 3: Loss of the structure.
If the infection continues to progress, there is not much restoration can do at this point, and your only viable option is likely extraction. Removing a compromised tooth can benefit your surrounding teeth, but can also cause some difficulties with oral function. Because of this, your dentist will likely recommend seeking an implant to fill the gap.
Continue Learning About Tooth Decay
For more information about the progression of tooth decay check out more articles on tooth decay, testimonials from our patients, or you can schedule your appointment with our team at Pickett Family Dental in Keller, TX by calling (817) 431-5514 today.