Unfortunately, and despite our best efforts, statistics claim that tooth decay will impact all of us at some point in our lives. As such, it is critical to understand the structure of your teeth, the stages and the symptoms of tooth decay. With this understanding, patients can better protect themselves from the common problem of tooth decay.
In basic terms, the structure of a tooth includes what is sits above the gum line (Crown) and what sits below the gum line (Root). The inner part of the tooth that is filled with nerves and blood vessels is called the Pulp. The layer of the tooth around the pulp is the Dentin. The outer layer of the tooth that covers the crown is called the Enamel. And finally, the layer that covers the dentin is called the Cementum. When all these parts are healthy, the mouth is functional and free of pain. However, when tooth decay starts to rear its ugly head, the tooth structure is at risk.
Stage One: White or slightly yellow spots begin discoloring teeth. Chalky, yellow or brown spots may also been seen on the surface of the tooth.
Stage Two: Decay starts to break beneath the surface layer of tooth enamel.
Stage Three: Tooth decay progresses into the dentin of the tooth. Patients usually begin feeling pain at this stage.
Stage Four: This stage sees the pulp of the tooth becoming exposed and possibly infected. Pus starts forming as blood vessels and nerves in the tooth become infected and start to die.
Stage Five: Decay causes infection to reach the root of the tooth. The patient will often feel severe pain as the areas surrounding the tooth also become infected. There may also be redness and visible swelling of the face and area near the tooth.
1) Brush your teeth after you eat or drink
2) Rinse with water, drink milk or eat cheese after sugary or very acidic meals or snacks
3) Chew sugar free gum if you cannot brush your teeth after meals
4) Be sure to see your dentist for regular cleanings every six months
5) Use toothpaste and mouthwash that are designed to strengthen tooth enamel
6) Try to avoid sugary, very sticky or acidic foods and drinks
7) Floss your teeth every day
Tooth decay can find a fertile area in patients who have gaps and spaces from missing or damaged teeth. Further, food particles, plaque and bacteria can easily become trapped in the empty spaces between teeth. Dental implants help fill these spaces and prevent particle build-up. Moreover, one of the additional benefits of dental implants is that they are resistant to the problems caused by tooth decay.
If you live in Baton Rouge, LA area and suffer from problems caused by tooth decay, Dr. Barksdale has options for you. The wonderful staff at Barksdale Family Dentistry is proud to offer many great dental services including: regular tooth cleanings, dental implants, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry and many other exceptional services for your optimal dental wellness. Still not sure about the process, the benefits or how to finance dental implants? Please read through the rest of our informative dental implants website or call one of our helpful staff members today. We can’t wait to assist you in fixing your tooth decay and getting a better smile with dental implants.