Tooth decay and cavities are common among adults, and sometimes, it is easy to prolong a dental visit to get an issue fixed. Cavities can spread and cause a lot of problems, so they should be tended to as quickly as possible. However, there are situations when a tooth is decayed to fix. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you have a severely decayed tooth.
Basic demineralization and enamel decay are the easiest to repair.
The outermost layers of a tooth are made up of hard minerals. When the enamel initially starts to deteriorate, you may notice changes in the color of your tooth at a certain point or feel a change in the texture of your teeth. At this stage, decay is easiest to repair; the inner parts of the tooth have not been affected. Therefore, it is best to get to a dentist right away for attention.
Enamel decay leads to holes, which require full fillings.
If basic surface deterioration is allowed to progress, you will end up with enamel decay. You may see a hole in your tooth that appears dark in color. Over time, the hole will grow larger, and the enamel around the hole may grow weak or brittle. This is the most common point when people will seek a dentist to get a filling.
Dentin damage can be signaled by pain and the decay may be harder to fix.
Dentin is the inner layer of tooth material between the enamel and the pulp. Dentin is soft, so it can deteriorate relatively quickly once it is exposed. While decay that leads into dentin can be repaired with a filling, the process can be harder and the structure of the tooth may be weakened.
Decay leading into the pulp may require extensive measures.
Once decay beaks down the enamel and dentin, the innermost pulp may be affected. The pulp is where the majority of blood vessels and nerves reside, which means by this point, you may have a pretty major toothache and a lot of sensitivity. Pulp damage requires a root canal, but a root canal alone may not always be enough to save the tooth as the entire structure can be weakened.
Any time you have a cavity, it is a good idea to reach out to a dentist as quickly as possible. The faster you get in for an assessment and treatment, the less likely it will be that your tooth has to be extracted. Reach out to us at Rayburn General Dentistry in Brookeland for an appointment.