It is an unfortunate fact that almost everyone is going to struggle with tooth decay at some point over the years. Even if you brush your teeth multiple times a day and regularly visit the dentist, you will probably develop at least a few cavities in your lifetime. While minor tooth decay isn’t necessarily dangerous, you must catch this issue early on if you want to avoid major problems down the road. When tooth decay remains untreated, it can result in a wide array of serious health complications including abscesses, periodontal disease, and tooth infections.
What is Tooth Decay?
Your mouth is filled with bacteria, some of which is helpful and necessary. Unfortunately, other kinds are very harmful, and that is why you must clean your mouth as often as possible. If the harmful germs aren’t removed right away, they will cling to the outside of your teeth and feed off the starches and sugars you eat. Over time, the bacteria will weaken and stain the outside of your teeth. Tooth decay occurs when the germs permanently damage the outer layers of your teeth.
Many people don’t realize that they have tooth decay for quite some time. During the initial stages of this condition, the side effects are often very mild. Some patients notice a little bit of discoloration near the edges of their teeth while others feel a dull ache throughout the day. You might also notice that your teeth are particularly sensitive whenever you eat or drink.
As soon as the germs destroy the outer layers of a tooth, the side effects are going to become much worse. That dull ache could turn into sharp pain whenever you bite down on your food or drink a hot beverage. You will also notice discolored fissures and pits on the surface of your teeth, and you must address those issues right away if you want to avoid long-term damage. Even though tooth decay is a very common problem, you should never ignore any of these warning signs.
The Importance of Treating Cavities
A minor cavity probably won’t be anything more than a nuisance, but the germs will eventually make their way to the interior of the tooth. Once the germs have spread, the pulp of the tooth may become infected and require a full root canal. For severe internal damage, we might even have to extract the tooth entirely. As long as we catch the signs of tooth decay early on, our team can usually fix the damage with fillings or a dental bonding procedure.
Get In Touch with Us for More Information
We believe everyone deserves to have a smile that they can be proud of, and that is why we offer our patients some of the most effective restorative treatments available. To learn more about the signs of tooth decay, we encourage you to reach out and make an appointment with Hillfield Pediatric & Family Dentistry. At our convenient location in Layton, UT, our caring and dedicated team of professionals will be pleased to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to set up your consultation – we look forward to speaking with you!