Skip To Content

Tooth Decay

What is tooth decay?

Tooth decay is a bacterial process that infects the tooth and causes part of the tooth to become diseased and therefore not usable.

What are the signs of tooth decay?

Many times a patient will not know the signs of tooth decay. Typically, this begins on the inside of the tooth where the patient or the person cannot see the area. This typically can only be seen on an x-ray. However, if the tooth decay becomes more advanced, we will have what is called a cavity, meaning a part of the tooth on the surface that is also cracked that can be seen.

What are the effects of tooth decay?

There are many different effects of tooth decay. At the beginning, in the early processes, most people will not know they actually have tooth decay or a cavity. However, in the more advanced stages, it can affect the nerve of the tooth and eventually cause the tooth to be lost.

Can tooth decay lead to other complications?

Tooth decay can lead to other very painful complications if the tooth decay becomes more advanced, specifically if it gets close enough to the nerve of the tooth.

Can tooth decay return to normal?

Unfortunately, it is very uncommon to see tooth decay return to normal. Typically, once the tooth decay process has occurred, that damage has occurred on that part of the tooth. It is an irreversible process.

What are some treatments for tooth decay?

Tooth decay treatments vary based on the extent of the cavity present and how much damage has already occurred. Sometimes, if the decay is very small, at-home treatments and things that the doctors will prescribe may reverse the process. That's only in the very early phases. If the cavity is relatively small, something like a filling can be used. If the cavity is larger, then crowns or root canals may be needed. And unfortunately, if the tooth is too far gone, then the tooth extraction may indeed be indicated.

How do I stop tooth decay from spreading?

Tooth decay is a bacterial process that occurs in the mouth. Therefore, if you can reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth and help to do things to increase the amount of saliva in the mouth, those will reduce the likelihood of cavities or tooth decay happening in other parts of the mouth. Please work with your dental professional and your local hygienist to work on home care instructions as well as in-office visits.

Is tooth decay painful?

Tooth decay is not typically painful at first, which is unfortunate in the sense that the patient oftentimes does not know what's occurring inside of the mouth without the help of a dental professional. However, if the tooth decay gets further closer to the nerve, it can become a very painful process.

When should I see a dentist about treating tooth decay?

If you have any questions about tooth decay or have not been seen for an exam recently, I would recommend that you see your dental professional on a continual basis. If you do not have a dental professional, please feel free to give us a call at (850) 909-9731 and we're happy to see you for an exam.

Back To Top