Calgary Dentist: Identifying the 5 Stages of Tooth Decay
Calgary Dentist — Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems that affect all kinds of people in different age groups, but most especially the children. In fact, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children aged 6 to 11, and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years old.
Cavities, the decayed areas of the teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes, do not instantly appear. They always start small and are not easily seen by the naked eye. As long are they are not yet spotted and treated, they will eventually progress until they reach areas and layers of the tooth and ultimately cause serious damage and decay.
To prevent this from happening, it is important to understand how tooth decay progresses and how it occurs in several stages. This article will identify and discuss the five stages of tooth decay and how to prevent its progression.
Stage 1: Demineralization (White Spots)
This initial stage is the result of the tooth being exposed to acids – those produced within accumulations of bacterial plaque. The enamel demineralization represents a superficial dissolving of the surface enamel (glassy outer shell) of the tooth. When this happens, white spots begin to materialize. White spots are not easy to recognize especially because they usually appear on a child’s molars.
You would need to visit an affordable Calgary dentist who can examine your teeth properly and be able to identify such cavities. The good thing is that once identified, this initial cavity can be repaired and be prevented from further damaging the tooth with the help of dental treatments like fluoride treatment Calgary.
Stage 2: Enamel Erosion or Decay
The second stage of tooth decay will continue if the first stage is not prevented. At this stage, the white spots darken to a brownish colour and the enamel weakens and breaks down further, causing the formation of small holes or cavities in the teeth. Unfortunately, once cavities breakthrough, there is no turning back and no more prevention options. At this point in time, the cavity will need to be filled with a dental filling by a Calgary dentist.
Stage 3: Dentin Decay
This stage is where the person experiencing the stages of tooth decay would most likely feel tooth pain and finally become aware of the existing cavity. This stage is called dentin decay because the tooth decay begins to reach the second level that lies beneath the enamel which is the dentin. Dentin is softer than the enamel, making it more sensitive to damage from acid.
This is why the decay progresses faster when it reaches the dentin. This is also the stage where you may experience extreme sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks. To treat this stage of decay, a dental filling by a Calgary dentist is still an ideal solution that can help prevent the cavity from reaching the pulp – the tooth’s most critical component.
Stage 4: Pulp Damage
At this point, once the cavity reaches the pulp, expect that the pain you would feel would be more severe. The pulp, which is the innermost layer of the tooth, contains nerves and blood vessels that help keep the tooth healthy and also provide sensation to the tooth. This stage is obviously more serious than the preceding ones and would require root canal treatment Calgary. Any other possible treatment would be a complete extraction by a Calgary dentist.
Stage 5: Abscess Formation
For the fifth and final stage of tooth decay, as the cavity reaches the pulp, the bacteria can invade and cause an infection. When the tooth becomes inflamed and results in a pocket of pus-forming at the bottom of the tooth, that means that you are suffering from an abscessed tooth. A tooth abscess can cause severe pain that may permeate into the jaw.
If it’s not treated and dealt with promptly, it can be dangerous because the infection can spread into the bones of the jaw as well as other areas of the head and neck. Possible treatments for tooth abscess include root canal and tooth extraction. This stage proves to be incredibly harmful so if you think and believe that you may have an abscess, call Inglewood Family Dental immediately at (403) 265-5888 to request an appointment! We would be happy to assist you with your dental care needs!