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The Four Stages Of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay damage is the direct result of bacteria that live in the mouth and feed off of plaque. Plaque is the sticky, soft, white material that sticks to the enamel surface of the teeth. Plaque is made from sugars and food particles mixed with saliva. when plaque is not removed sufficiently, the bacteria convert the plaque into acids. The acids then break down and denature the enamel surface and cause tooth decay.

Tooth decay that is left untreated will continue to damage and eventually attack the nerve, resulting in infection or possibly tooth loss.

The First Stage of Tooth Decay

In the early stage of tooth decay demineralization occurs. Enamel is the strongest part of the tooth (the crown). The acids demineralize the tooth enamel surface also known as carious lesions. Once the bacteria causes enough damage to the tooth, it starts to cause cavities.
Dental And Denture Care Center, Tooth Decay

Second Stage of Tooth Decay

The second stage of a decaying tooth is a cavity! Cavities are among the world’s most common health problems, which makes them easy to treat. Once a cavity is formed it needs to be treated by our dentist usually by drilling the cavity out and adding a tooth filling the gap in the tooth with a hard composite or a metal amalgam.

Third Stage of Tooth Decay

If a cavity is left untreated it will continue to the third stage and grow larger and deeper into the second layer of the tooth which is the dentin. Dentin is much softer than enamel and the decay spreads much more rapidly once into the dentin. Sensitivity to hot and cold and sweets is heightened at this stage. Patients may also experience painful tooth aches as well. Treatment by a dentist at this point may require a dental crown. If not treated in a timely manner, the decay will lkely start to spread to the nerve of the tooth.

Fourth Stage Of Tooth Decay

As the decaying tooth continues to progress, it begins to affect the nerve and pulp chamber.  The pulp chamber is the innermost layer of the tooth which contains the nerve. Once the bacteria caused by the tooth decay reaches the nerve it forms an abscess. A root canal may be performed to save the tooth, which is a process to remove the nerve and the bacterial buildup. Antibiotics may be prescribed at this time. An untreated tooth at this stage can lead to severe pain and possibly the need to extract the tooth.

Good Oral Hygiene Is The Best Prevention

The best prevention of tooth decay is good oral hygiene home care and regular visit to your dentist and hygienist including regular dental exams with recommended x-rays and teeth cleanings. With regular visits to The Dental and Denture Care Center, you can prevent and avoid costly and painful dental situations. A healthy mouth is a happy mouth.

Prevent Tooth Decay and Schedule Your Dental Exam Today

A visit to your Spring Hill family dentist for your checkups and teeth cleaning is the best way to avoid complicated dental problems.

If you are experiencing pain or sensitivity in your teeth, you may need treatment to prevent further problems. Call The Dental and Denture Care Center at (352) 848-1050 to schedule an exam today or contact us through our website here. Our team of dental experts are here to give you the best smile of your life.