How Do You Treat the Different Stages of Tooth Decay?

People brush their teeth at least twice daily and floss daily for optimal dental health. Though this routine is commendable, the level of dental decay worldwide, unfortunately, remains high. This is primarily due to skipping routine dental appointments. Many people assume they should only visit the dentist when they have an issue and, as a result, miss out on preventive treatments and early detection of problems which affect oral health. For this reason, you have to visit your Fort Worth family dentist regularly.

Routine checkups are the solution for the diagnosis of tooth decay before it causes grave issues. This is because severe tooth decay does not happen overnight. Rather, it goes through different phases before the damage becomes irreversible. Here are the treatments used for various stages of dental decay.

Stage One: Demineralization

At this stage, white spots appear on the surface of your teeth due to the erosion of your tooth’s enamel in patches. Many people will disregard this as a transient dental issue and just brush it off. However, a dental exam will determine if the white spots are a consequence of demineralization and recommend fluoride treatments to re-mineralize your teeth. These home treatments are delivered in the form of in-office fluoride trays or gels and toothpaste.

Stage Two: Enamel Decay

Without intervention at demineralization of your teeth, the inner layers of your teeth are exposed to bacteria since there is no barrier. This marks the official onset of the development of a cavity. As a result, you experience tooth sensitivity due to the exposure of the inner dental layers to various stimuli. The treatment to avert further decay at this stage is a dental filling that protects the pulp from bacteria.

Stage Three: Dentin Decay

Dentin lies under the dental enamel. Bacteria spread fast in the dentin because the layer is porous. This often overlaps with the second stage of decay. The tooth sensitivity associated with dentin decay is more pronounced compared to that in stage two, though. Dental restorations including onlays, fillings, crowns, and inlays are possible treatments at this stage.

Stage Four: Dental Pulp Infection

dentist showing teeth xray to patientDental pulp is the soft tissue in your tooth; it is essential for its maturation. If bacteria invade your pulp cavity, you might experience excruciating pain. Most people will get a dentist’s help at this stage. You can treat this condition with a root canal for the removal of the infected pulp and the sterilization of the left chamber. Then, the dentist will place a filling and cap it with a dental crown.

Stage Five: Abscess Formation

Abscess formation is the eventuality of an untreated pulp infection. An abscess is the accumulation of pus, debris, and bacteria — it has serious oral health consequences if ruptured. At this stage, abscess drainage, a root canal, and tooth extraction are the most feasible treatment options.

Visit Your Dentist Today

Routine dental appointments are integral in the prevention of cavity buildup and irreversible damage. As such, make sure all members of your family stick to their dental appointments. This will save you on costly future dental treatments and the pain associated with pulp infection and dental sensitivity.

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