Many people recognize that tooth decay can be a significant threat to their oral health. However, knowing of the threat and recognizing it when you have tooth decay aren’t always the same. Unfortunately, underestimating the seriousness of tooth decay is a common reason why it’s allowed to progress so significantly for many people. To help you avoid more significant problems with your oral health, we take a closer look at the decay in your tooth, and why addressing it as soon as possible is important to the immediate and long-term health of your smile.
What tooth decay actually means
Tooth decay, as well as the cavity that it causes to form in your tooth structure, can often seem less serious due to how it common they are. A tooth starts decaying when its enamel becomes compromised, most frequently by harmful oral bacteria, and the tooth loses its protection against harmful oral bacteria. Before long, plaque and tartar buildup can lead to the infection of the tooth and the erosion (or decaying) of its structure. The more the decay progresses, the more of your tooth structure will erode, and the greater the threat your tooth decay will become to your overall oral health.
When you don’t address it right away
The earliest stages of tooth decay don’t always seem as severe as the condition warrants. For example, when your tooth enamel first starts growing weak and eroding, the sensitivity in your tooth might still be minor. For some people, it may even be barely noticeable. However, as time goes by, the erosion of your tooth structure and the resulting cavity can cause significant harm to the tooth, threatening its nerves and tissues while weakening its overall structural integrity. In severe cases of tooth decay, treatment might involve removing the tissues from within the tooth’s pulp and root canal, or extracting and replacing the tooth if the decay is too extreme.
How to effectively put a stop to it
The progressive nature of tooth decay is partly the reason why it can become more serious than you realize faster than you might expect. It’s also why treating your tooth decay as soon as possible is important, even if the symptoms seem minor. When detected and treated early, enamel erosion may be reversed before it becomes compromised with better hygiene and preventive dental care. If a cavity does develop, it may be treated conservatively with a tooth-colored filling, which not only fills the cavity but also blends in discreetly with your healthy, natural tooth structure.
Save your tooth from decaying
Tooth decay might be common, but even if you have it, you might not fully understand what it means for your smile and oral health. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling the Dental Centre of Conroe in Conroe, TX, today at (936) 441-4600. We serve patients from Conroe and all neighboring communities.