Tooth Decay An Overview
Tooth decay occurs when plaque has built up on your teeth and erodes away at the enamel of your teeth. Plaque flourishes off a combination of food particles and saliva inside your mouth. The bacteria in plaque converts all food into acid, especially sugars and starches, which results in breaking up the enamel of your teeth.
Tooth decay is often attributed to:
- Xerostomia (dry mouth)
- Old fillings
- Leaky restorations (allowing bacteria inside the crown)
- Low fluoride
- Poor dental hygiene
- Tooth defects
If you experience toothache, tooth sensitivity or constant bad taste, you should seek out Plano, TX dentist Dr. Sowell’s services immediately. When left untreated, tooth decay can reach the nerves and lead to an abscess, which is your body’s response by sending white blood cells to the scene of the infection. Tooth decay means that bacteria have attacked the internal part of the tooth, often leading to a nerve abscess requiring a root canal. That is why early detection is important, and decay has no symptoms – like pain – to warn us.
"After his new-patient appointment, I asked my husband what he liked best about his initial experience at Dr. Sowell's office. He answered, "It's quiet and serene." My husband is a man of few words, but that sums up things nicely.…Doris W.
"As always for almost 20 years, outstanding and proffesional service and care."Maj F.
"I have referred others and will continue to do so."Robin B.
Tooth Decay What to Expect
Treatment for a Tooth Decay
Dr. Sowell offers many treatments for his patients with tooth decay. The treatment that you will need depends on how severe the decay is. He will recommend of the following treatments:
- Dental Filling: Tooth decay can be easily treated with a routine dental filling if it is discovered in the early stages. In the early stage, tooth decay may not have any symptoms and can only be discovered at your routine visits. A filling is a conservative treatment used to preserve the tooth when weakened from a tooth cavity. The filling is will restore the tooth’s strength and protect it from further damage and decay.
- Root Canal: If a dental cavity is left untreated, it may extend to the tooth’s root canal. This usually causes great pain and an infection. Root canal therapy will be necessary to save the tooth from extraction. This routine treatment can effectively remove the decay without compromising the integrity of the jaw or bite.
- Dental Crown: A dental crown may be recommended to treat a wide range of restorative and cosmetic dental concerns including a tooth cavity. For large cavities, your dentist may choose a dental crown to cover the tooth and restore stability after the decay has been removed. The dental crowns will be fabricated at our in-office dental laboratory to ensure high-quality results.
- Extraction: We will extract the tooth if the decay is too severe and we feel we cannot save it. Extracting a severely damaged tooth is a last resort. Your dentist will make every attempt to preserve the natural tooth. Extractions are common in people who with bad oral hygiene who do not visit the dentist often. Early detection of decay is the key to avoiding extraction.
How to Prevent a Tooth Cavity?
Preventing tooth decay starts at home with good oral hygiene habits. This in combination with routine dental visits is the key to minimizing your risk of needing dental work. We also recommend the following to help you avoid getting a cavity:
- Visit our dentist office at least twice a year for a checkup and a teeth cleaning
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily
- Floss daily
- Limit sugar and soda consumption and eat a healthy diet