Girl suffering from pain in teeth looking for dental emergency treatment in Whitby, ON.

The Causes, Signs and Treatment Options of Tooth Decay

April 1, 2020

When sugar gets broken down by the bacteria in your mouth, the acids produced as a by-product softens the tooth enamel damaging its structure. This results in decayed teeth, and cavities will developif this issue is not addressed appropriately.

A Cavity refers to a hole formed in your teeth. At first, the holes are small and painless, but if left untreated, they get more significant over time. The sensitivity begins after the decay gets past the enamel to the layer of dentin.

The numerous nerve endings that make up the dentin become irritated when exposed to cold, hot, sweet, sour, or sticky foodstuffs, causing discomfort when you bite down food.

Because the dentin is softer than enamel, decay will spread faster through it, making the roots vulnerable to infections. Infections develop after the bacteria and mildew infest the tooth’s pulp. The frequency and the intensity level of your pain will increase. This is influenced by the nerves found in the flesh.

Causes of Tooth Decay

  • Poor oral health

This creates optimum conditions for bacteria to thrive and allows plaque to attack the enamel.

  • Drinking and eating

Certain types of drinks and foods encourage the formation of dental cavities. Dentists have advised against taking excessive amounts of carbonated beverages as they are known to increase acid production by plaque. They also emphasize the importance of brushing your teeth twice or thrice in a day.

  • Dry mouth

A dry mouth encourages the quick build-up of plaque due to lack of adequate saliva that aids in cleaning out the plate from a tooth.

  • Plaque formation

When saliva, bacteria, food particles, and acids combine, there is the formation of plaque. As the plaque builds-up, the acid in it attacks your teeth’s enamel, causing holes known as cavities to form.

  • Bacteria

Your mouth is a natural habitat for bacteria. When these micro-organisms digest the food particles stuck in your teeth, the acid formed corrodes the enamel forming holes in the teeth.

  • Health problems

Frequent vomiting exposes the teeth in your mouth to the stomach’s acid, which erodes the enamel increasing the chances of developing a tooth cavity. Similarly, when patients get exposed to certain types of radiation during cancer treatment, the radioactivity can trigger changes in the genetic makeup of saliva, promoting bacterial growth.

Signs of Tooth Decay

Aside from the persistent pain, the following are symptoms you are likely to experience:

  • Facial swelling
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Fever
  • Red swelling gums
  • Pus

Treatment Options

There are various treatment procedures used to cure tooth decay and cavities. They include:

  • Tooth extractions – Restoring a tooth that is severely decayed is demanding. An extraction procedure is more efficient in such cases.
  • Cavity dental filing – This is the best treatment option if your tooth is past the early stages of decay. It involves making filings from porcelain or composite resins, which and using them to fill the holes in the tooth.
  • Fluoride treatments – This procedure is ideal in restoring your teeth’s enamel as well as reversing cavities in their early stages. Fluoride treatment exists as a liquid, varnish, foam, or gel.
  • Crowns – A crown is a customized covering used to replace a tooth’s crown when extensive decay has occurred. The decayed area is drilled away before fitting. Resin, gold, and porcelain are materials used in the making of a crown.
  • Root canals – A root canal is only needed when decay has affected your tooth’s pulp. It is an efficient way of saving an infected tooth instead of extracting it and involves replacing the pulp with a filling.

Cavities are a bad sign as they are associated with extreme tooth decay and require immediate services of a qualified professional. Are you experiencing frequent toothaches because of holes present in the teeth? Book an appointment with Brooklin Village Dental Care for cavity treatment procedures and tooth decay removal.

Ways of Preventing Teeth Decay and Cavities

Prevention is always better than cure, and the best way to keep dental cavities at bay is:

  1. Maintaining an all-inclusive oral hygiene practice.
  2. Reduce your intake ofcarbonated drinks and sugary foods.
  3. Floss before you sleep.
  4. Eat a healthy diet that is also beneficial to the teeth.
  5. Use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth.
  6. Go to the dentist for frequent check-ups.

To maintain healthy and strong teeth, ensure that you adhere to the tips above.

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