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Singing River Dentistry

Stages of Tooth Decay


Posted on 6/7/2021 by Lindsey Holt
Stages of Tooth DecayTooth decay, also known as dental caries, is the most common oral health problem in the world. Many people remain unaware they have a cavity until their tooth decay becomes severe. That is why Dr. Moore, Dr. McClanahan, or Dr. Love and strongly suggest you keep your routine dental checkups atSinging River Dentistry so that we can treat any tooth decay while it is still in its early stages.

Stages of Dental Decay


There are six stages of tooth decay:

Stage 1: Enamel Demineralization


The sugars and bacteria attack our teeth and destroy the calcium in our enamel. This results in demineralization and is characterized by chalky white spots on the teeth. The damage at this stage is reversible.

Stage 2: Enamel Breakdown


The enamel decays as the bacteria multiply. At this stage, your body is unable to remineralize your enamel sufficiently, resulting in lesions on the surface of the teeth.

Stage 3: Dentin Decay


Once the enamel breaks down, the bacteria attacks the vulnerable underlying dental layer, known as dentin. You may start to experience sensitivity and pain at this stage. A filling can help restore your teeth at this stage.

Stage4: Pulp Infection


The pulp lies beneath the layer of dentin and consists of the tooth nerve, blood vessels and soft tissue required to keep the tooth alive. If bacteria infect the inner chamber of the tooth, it will damage the pulp, resulting in persistent and acute tooth pain. You may require a pulpectomy to save your tooth at this stage.

Stage5: Abscess Formation


At this stage, the infection reaches the tip of the tooth root and creates an abscess there. This destroys the connecting bone tissues in your jaw. The abscess may be seen as a pimple-like swelling on your gums or cheek and you may have a bitter taste in your mouth caused by a fistula leaking pus. This is the last stage of tooth decay but tooth surgery can still save your tooth.

Stage6: Tooth Loss


If you do not treat the tooth in this painful stage, it will continue to lose soft and hard supporting tissues and will soon fall out. Worse, the infection may spread to other teeth and your jaw as well.

Treatment of Tooth Decay


Fortunately, we at Singing River Dentistry can help you treat your tooth:

•  We strongly suggest your brush your teeth twice a day every day and floss once a day. Also use mouthrinse when required.
•  Reduce consumption of starchy, sugary food and alcohol. Avoid eating in between meals.
•  Drink lots of water to increase the production of saliva which fights bacteria in the mouth.

The most important thing you can do to preserve your tooth health is never to miss your dental appointment with us. Even though early stage dental decay does not cause pain, we can still determine if your tooth is in need of treatment.
If you are concerned about your tooth health, call us today at 256-712-3186 to schedule an appointment with us.
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Singing River Dentistry, 2402 Avalon Ave, Suite A, Muscle Shoals, AL 35661; 256-712-3186; muscleshoals.singingriverdentistry.com; 6/17/2021; Page Phrases: dentist Muscle Shoals AL; dentist Muscle Shoals AL;