Learning the progression of tooth decay can help you to prevent it from happening. Here at Quarry Park Dental, we care about your dental health; whether you are a child or an adult, tooth decay is a common problem that can happen to anyone’s teeth. Let’s discuss the stages tooth decay and its treatment.
Phases of Tooth Decay and its Treatment
First Phase: In the first stage of tooth decay, the tooth starts to show signs of strain from the loss of calcium and plaque buildup. White spots will start to appear on the surface of the tooth, and the enamel will begin to deteriorate, a process known as the demineralization of the tooth. At this stage, proper brushing technique and the use of fluoride can help reverse tooth decay.
Second Phase: Stage 2 marks the beginning of the enamel decay. At first, the tooth erodes from the underside outward, but as the decay persists, the natural remineralization process of the tooth is unable to restore the proper minerals and enamel of the tooth. Once the cavity breaks through the surface, this stage becomes irreversible. Seek dental consultation immediately if your tooth breaks to prevent further damage.
Third Phase: If stage two is left untreated, the bacteria and acid will continue to attack the enamel and causes dentin decay. The dentin is the second level of the tooth that lies beneath the enamel. Stage 3 can cause a toothache once the decay moves to the dentin. If dentin decay continues, the enamel collapses and this process lead to a dental cavity. A filling is used at this stage to prevent the cavity from reaching the pulp.
Fourth Phase: The most important component of the tooth is the pulp. Once the pulp of a tooth is infected with bacteria, pus forms and this could kill the blood vessels and nerves of the tooth. At this stage, pain is intensified and constant. A root canal treatment is the only treatment option for stage four.
Final Phase: At this stage, the infection has reached the tip of the root and surrounding tissues and bone structure risk infection as well. Swelling of the gums and tongue can occur at this final stage, which can lead to other problems. Extraction and oral surgery may need to be performed during this stage of tooth decay.
Tooth decay is a progressive disease that can be easily managed if detected early or might as well prevented before it actually happens. To learn more about tooth decay, you can contact our dental office in Calgary, Alberta.