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Dental Emergency Care

Tooth Decay – What Happens?

Tooth decay is common in adults and children. It occurs from an acid attack on the enamel, which leads to cavities (holes) in teeth. Whilst children are more susceptible to tooth decay, it doesn’t mean adults are in the clear. Tooth decay is one of the common emergency symptoms and there are a number of factors that cause it.

Ultimately, these factors stem from one solitary area; your oral hygiene routine. It’s quite simple, if your oral routine is positive, your teeth will stay healthy. If it’s not, you’re probably seeking to understand the process of tooth decay and its consequences of it.

We break down the stages of tooth decay whilst helping you take the appropriate steps to keep your teeth as healthy as possible.

Root Canal Treatment Sutherland Dental Clinic

How Does A Tooth Decay?

Here is a step by step breakdown of tooth decay.

Plaque Formed From Bacteria

Plaque is a form of sticky bacteria that forms from food particles that stay on teeth after food has been consumed. Teeth begin to degrade from the acid that forms from the bacteria. The tooth enamel gets impacted and breaks down. When the enamel breaks down, it no longer protects your teeth from decay and discolouration.

The Enamel Is Attacked Causing Cavity

Tooth enamel is the hardest material in the body. When the enamel is under attack, this is bad news for your oral health. The enamel begins to dissolve and the acidic particles formed from the bacteria will expose the underlying dentin. The dentin keeps your teeth white. When this is exposed, the shade of your teeth will begin to darken. Breaking down the enamel also presents the chance of cavities forming which will require dental filling treatment.   

Damaged Tooth Nerve

The dentin is located at the centre of the tooth root. This is also known as the bacterial pulp, where a pus liquid forms leading to nerve damage. This leads to severe pain, and you’re entering the zone of root canal treatment. You can read here to learn more about root canal treatment.

Dental Abscess

A dental abscess is where the bacteria have reached the centre of the tooth. When the pus liquid forms inside the teeth and gums, this is the trigger point for a dental abscess which is a serious and painful infection.

You Lose A Tooth

What happens when you haven’t visited the dentist yet? The tooth becomes decayed severely. The tooth becomes so damaged that it would need to be extracted with tooth extraction treatment. Nobody likes to lose a tooth, but at this stage, it is important that your neighbouring teeth are protected.

tooth extraction pre examination

Final Thoughts

When you visit the dentist for an emergency appointment, the dentist is best placed to determine whether root canal or extraction treatment is required. This depends solely on the health of the tooth and whether there are enough healthy remains of the tooth.

Hence, it is vitally important that if you experience any gum irritation or sensitivity in the mouth, you book a dental check-up with the dentist to limit any further damage. It can be the difference between saving or losing a tooth.

Are you experiencing gum or sensitivity irritation? Check yourself in for an appointment at Sutherland Dental now!


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