According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, tooth decay is the most prevalent and preventable chronic disease in children and adults today. Tooth decay is typically symptomless until there’s already a cavity or a tooth abscess (an infection at the root of a tooth or in the gums), both of which can lead to pain and tooth loss if left untreated. That’s why at Smile Perfection, we make prevention of tooth decay your dental plan’s primary focus.
Tooth decay occurs when the mouth’s naturally occurring, harmful bacteria combine with the sugars from food, producing acids. Over time, the acids eat away at your tooth’s enamel, causing tooth decay and eventually cavities or dental caries. Symptoms of tooth decay or a tooth abscess include:
If you have a diet high in sugars and carbohydrates, drink from a water source that does not contain fluoride, or suffer from reduced salivary flow, you may be at risk for tooth decay. Young children are at higher risk for decay than are adults.
Successful preventive care requires good oral hygiene practices at home and routine visits to the dentist. At Smile Perfection, our Tucson, AZ, dentist Sharad Pandhi, D.D.S., understands that finding a dentist you have confidence in is key to maintaining a healthy smile, so we put extra effort and time into forming a long-term, trust-based relationship with all of our patients.
The following are steps you can take at home and during your routine dental visits to prevent tooth decay and improve your overall oral health:
If you have been diagnosed with tooth decay, the best course of treatment will depend on its severity. The following treatments are used once decay has eaten through tooth enamel:
What is a tooth abscess?
A tooth abscess is an infection that occurs at the root of a tooth or between the tooth and gum as a result of severe tooth-decay trauma. Signs that you may have a tooth abscess include fever, tooth pain/sensitivity, bad breath, swollen glands, swelling in the gums or upper or lower jaw, and open sores.
Is tooth pain a sign of tooth decay?
Tooth pain can be a sign of tooth decay or other oral health issues. If you are experiencing tooth pain, you should contact our provider and have it diagnosed immediately.
Is tooth extraction necessary if you have tooth decay?
Tooth extraction may become necessary in severe cases of tooth decay. Extraction will only be considered after every possible avenue that preserves the tooth is exhausted.
Call 520-252-4998 to find out more about tooth decay and prevention or to schedule your routine exam with our Tucson dental office today.