Despite being a common cause of many dental issues, many people still don’t know much about tooth decay. The fact that it is also known as a cavity confuses many as they believe these are two different conditions.

To clear the confusion of our readers for once and all, we are sharing here answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about dental decay. Continue reading!

What is Tooth Decay?

It is an oral health condition, in which dental caries develop in our mouth due to the presence of bacteria that is responsible for eating away at the tooth enamel, thereby weakening it. This leads to the formation of a hole in the enamel, which can become very painful if not taken care of at the earliest.

How to stop it?

Once it’s established that you have a tooth decay problem, it’s recommended that you seek dental services in Tupelo for effective and timely treatment. This is due to the fact that once a cavity has been formed, it won’t go away on its own. You would need a tooth decay treatment so that the enamel could grow back. In fact, if you are delaying the treatment, your cavity will worsen with time and cause more pain and deteriorated dental health.

What are the prevention methods for Dental Decay?

Tooth decay can be prevented by following optimal oral hygiene. So, make sure to brush your teeth twice a day. Don’t forget flossing as it removes the food debris left behind stuck in your teeth. Furthermore, make a point to healthy foods only. Limiting alcohol, smoking, and sugary foods will also help.

What does tooth decay look like?

If you see a brownish spot on your tooth, it may indicate a tooth decay problem. However, it’s important that you visit a dentist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

What causes dental decay?

Plaque formation is one of the main causes of tooth decay. It damages the surface of the teeth and ends up creating a tiny hole for bacteria to reach the inner layers.

What are the different tooth decay stages?

There are different stages which are explained below:

  • The appearance of a white spot on the tooth’s surface is the first stage of tooth decay. As it’s the very initial stage, your dentist may be able to stop the decay process at this stage.
  • The second stage of tooth decay marks when the enamel decays the surface beneath the top layer. It is to be noted that the top-level surface stays intact; therefore, the damage to the underlying surface isn’t visible.
  • During the third stage, dental decay makes its way to the dentin. If diagnosed at this point, your dentist can use a filling to repair the damage.
  • This is a stage where the decay causes the pulp to become infected. It results in pus formation. Furthermore, nerves and blood vessels start to swell. The only treatment that works at this stage is root canal therapy.
  • At this stage, the tooth infection reaches the root. Not only this, but the bones surrounding the tooth also get infected.

What are the signs of tooth decay?

Some of the most common tooth decay symptoms include:

  • Severe toothache
  • Swelling on one side of the face
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Pain when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages
  • Pain when biting food
  • Prominent holes on the tooth surface

In all, this is not something you should take lightly. It can cause a lot of pain and discomfort if not taken care of at the right time. So, make sure you get treated at the earliest if you suspect you are dealing with a dental decay problem.