Tooth decay is a common problem. However, it is still a scary diagnosis for many patients. What causes the decay? Can tooth decay be reversed? Which treatments are available? Read on to get the facts on your tooth decay- and what to do next.
What is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is when a part of your tooth breaks down due to bacteria. Smoking, eating sugary foods, and not brushing properly can all cause decay. However, many people with good oral habits also deal with tooth decay. Luckily, your dentist can treat decay if the damage is caught early.
Stages of Decay
Tooth decay starts with demineralization. Bacteria weakens your tooth enamel at this stage. Next, cavities will begin to form. Cavities are small holes caused by bacteria. The enamel on the outside of the tooth is where the smallest cavities will form. However, as the decay progresses, this damage can spread to the dentin and pulp of the tooth. These are softer materials, which means the bacteria can spread faster. Decay is also likely to be painful at this stage. Finally, a tooth abscess can form if bacteria is not treated.
Can Tooth Decay Be Reversed?
We have good news for you! If tooth decay is caught early, then it can be reversed. Fluoride can treat demineralization before a cavity forms. Simple fillings can also treat small cavities. However, larger cavities will require more complex dental work. This is why it is so important to catch decay early on.
Make Your Dental Appointment Today!
So, can tooth decay be reversed? Yes- if you act quickly. Regular dental exams are the easiest way to spot tooth decay at the earliest stages. Dr. Alabi provides expert dental care to patients of all ages. To schedule your dental exam, call us at 713-984-4934. You can also book online by clicking the link above.