Tooth decay is damage caused to the tooth’s surface or enamel. It’s caused by dental plaque and bacteria; the acids in this then wear away the tooth, resulting in cavities, and serious infections if left untreated.
Although tooth decay can be a pressing dental emergency, it is very easy to avoid if you practice good dental hygiene
What Causes Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay occurs when the acids found in plaque and bacteria begin to break down the tooth enamel. As the tooth enamel softens, structural damage is caused by the acids creating cavities. If left untreated, this can worsen and further decay the tooth; which can lead to harmful infections and abscesses.
Common Tooth Decay Symptoms
There are many symptoms of tooth decay, and not all of them will necessarily cause pain, which is why it is essential to have an understanding of both the causes and the symptoms of tooth decay.
Tooth decay is an oral disease that can impact anyone, however, some people are at more risk of experiencing decay than others. This includes those with medical conditions, those who do not get enough fluoride, babies and toddlers who drink from bottles, and adults who may have receding gums.
Common symptoms of tooth decay include:
– Toothache – either ongoing pain or occasional sharp pains without apparent cause
– Tooth sensitivity – may feel some tenderness or pain when eating or drinking something hot, cold or sweet
– Grey, brown, or black staining on the surface of the teeth
– Bad breath
– Unpleasant taste in your mouth
– Pain when you bite down
Preventing Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is a common issue, however, it’s easily preventable by keeping your gums clean and healthy. The best ways to keep your gums healthy – are as follows:
– Cutting down on sugary foods, especially snacking – everything that we eat and drink will have an effect on the frequency of getting tooth decay.
– Brush your teeth twice a day (for a recommended time of 2 minutes), and floss after meals.
– Visit your dentist regularly and get regular advice based on the condition of your teeth.
However, you cannot reverse the damage once it’s been done, so having a balanced diet whilst taking care of your teeth is a massive part of maintaining a good oral health routine and avoiding any tooth decay, cavities and further pain.
Treatments for Tooth Decay
If you’re experiencing the symptoms or have tooth decay, it’s essential that you book an emergency dental appointment; at the247dentist we provide emergency dental care in Southampton and Brighton.
Treatment can vary depending on the severity of your case identified by our dentists, however, there are a few common treatments that may be required to help with tooth decay:
– Fillings will remove the decayed tooth tissue and restore the tooth by filling it with a specialised filling material.
– Root canal may be required if the damage to the tooth spreads to the pulp (inside of the tooth).
– Extraction, which is for more severe cases, is required when the damage to the pulp cannot be fixed.
Book an Emergency Dental Appointment
Book an emergency dentist appointment with our expert dentists. At the 247 Dentist, we provide urgent care and out of hours appointments so you can receive the right treatments without having to disrupt your daily routine.
Find your nearest clinic, or you can get in touch and book your appointment today.