You may not know a lot about tooth decay, but did you know that our dentist can often determine how long a cavity has been forming in your mouth? Five tooth cavity stages help our dentist to plan your course of treatments. To learn more about the importance of caring for your teeth and your gums, read below about the tooth cavity stages so that you can take precautions to avoid tooth loss.
Stage 1: A Loss of Calcium from the Dental Enamel
During the earliest stage of a cavity, our dentist may notice white spots on the dental enamel of your teeth, indicating a loss of calcium. Our dentist will typically see a buildup of plaque on this diseased tooth, and in addition to treating the cavity, it is essential to remove the plaque. By improving your daily brushing and flossing habits, you will decrease your probability of having this dilemma again.
Stage 2: A Tooth has Decayed Enamel
Stage two of dental decay is having damaged enamel on a tooth. Healthy dental enamel is extremely durable, so this means that the bacteria on the tooth has eroded this hard substance. Our dentist needs to clean the tooth along with removing its decayed enamel before inserting a filling. For teeth toward the back of the mouth, a metallic filling is suitable, but if someone can see a tooth, then our dentist will make a color-matching filling instead.
Stage 3: Decay Begins in the Dentin Layer of a Tooth
If you have dentin decay, then the cavity is at stage three, requiring more extensive cleaning and repair. When the bacteria can enter the dentin layer of a tooth, you may begin to feel some discomfort in the mouth while you are chewing food or drinking cold beverages. The filling for this tooth is larger so that it will cover the damaged area of the tooth completely.
Stage 4: The Pulp Has Begun to Decay
When the cavity reaches the pulp layer of the tooth, you will certainly feel pain in the tooth. This is one of the deepest types of cavities, and if the cavity is extremely large, then you may need to have a dental crown placed over the tooth after it is cleaned and restored.
Stage 5: The Tooth is Abscessed
A tooth with a cavity that reaches the pulp can become abscessed, leading to a swollen jaw and bleeding gum tissues. This is a serious problem that will likely require a root canal to save the tooth. To perform a root canal, our dentist will anesthetize you before drilling into the top of the tooth to remove its pulp. The shell of the tooth requires strengthening with a substance that will conform to the shape of the interior surface of the tooth.
Schedule an Appointment
It is important to schedule an appointment with our dentist every six months to avoid having cavities. Contact North View Dental in Ogden, Utah today at 801-782-6681 to visit our comfortable and professional office.