It has been on the agenda for months: your dental check-up. You have taken time off from work for your appointment, kept up with daily brushing and flossing and prepared any questions for your dentist. But then a dreaded cold sore pops up, and you are worried that you will have to try to squeeze…
What Are the Stages of Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is not something that should be taken lightly. It can be easy to put oral health on the back burner, but over time, as tooth decay progresses, the results can be irreversible. Like most things, tooth decay has stages, where it starts out small but can spread quite significantly. Continue reading to find out what each step entails.
Understanding how tooth decay progresses
Outlined below are the stages of tooth decay, including how it starts and what can potentially happen if it is not addressed. This information may be quite helpful to individuals who are struggling to maintain good oral health.
First and foremost
Tooth decay starts out as an infection. Infections are usually the result of bacteria that has been formed from left-behind food particles. While brushing and flossing go a long way, it is hard to be 100% accurate. One's diet also plays a big role in the formation of tooth decay. Unhealthy consumption of sodas, alcohol, or sweets can cause the teeth to be more susceptible to decay.
To avoid tooth decay from developing, it is recommended to brush after every meal and floss at least once a day. If brushing that often is not possible, rinsing with water is an ideal second option.
Once the teeth start actually decaying, it is hard to reverse it. Certain parts of the teeth will start to deteriorate, often with noticeable signs. Tooth decay is not always visible, but once it reaches a certain point, it will be obvious. For example, most individuals who experience tooth decay notice dark spots, weak or soft spots, discomfort, and what may look like a shrinking tooth. Tooth decay causes areas to deteriorate, which means as a whole, the tooth will start to look different.
Over time, if tooth decay is not addressed by a dentist, there can be significant long-term effects. The teeth can suffer greatly, as can the rest of the oral cavity. In some scenarios, the rest of the body may also be put at risk. When the teeth are decaying, it is usually a result of an infection that has begun to eat away at the teeth. If that infection is not stopped, it can enter the gums and travel through the bloodstream to other parts of the body. The gums may suffer from infection, which can result in periodontal disease. Long-term whole-body risks include diabetes or heart problems.
Find out more
When struggling to avoid tooth decay, the best thing to do is to consult with a general dentist. Dentists are trained to provide certain preventive measures, which can be used to keep the teeth in good healthy condition. Additionally, dentists can recommend tips for individuals to utilize at home, which can also be used to avoid tooth decay.
To learn more or to get scheduled for a consultation appointment, reach out today! Our team will happily assist you.
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