How do I stop tooth decay from spreading?

The only way to stop decay from spreading is to see your dentist. Follow their recommendations to save your teeth, and address the issue promptly to minimize damage.

Is tooth decay painful?

Tooth decay is not always painful unless it reaches the nerve. When it does, it can be very painful. Early-stage decay may cause slight sensitivity or no discomfort at all. Regular dental visits can help catch decay early and treat it before it becomes painful.

When should I see a dentist about treating tooth decay?

You should see your dentist regularly to catch decay when it is small. A checkup every six months is recommended to ensure any decay is treated early.

What is tooth decay?

Decay is basically a soft tooth. Teeth are naturally hard, so when they start getting soft in a particular spot and they decay, you can tell by them getting little brown or black spots. They become soft to the touch, and you can feel a slight give when pressing on them. Sometimes, you can see a little dark hollow right under the enamel. The best way to find out if you have decay is to see your dentist.

What causes dental decay?

Dental decay is usually caused by food not being removed from a particular area in time. The food will oxidize and become more acidic, similar to how garbage becomes smelly when left outside. The food stuck between the teeth becomes more acidic, weakening the enamel surface. Over time, the enamel will crumble, leading to decay.

What are the signs of tooth decay?

Signs of tooth decay include sensitivity to temperature, especially cold. In the early stages of decay, you may not feel anything, and temperature may not be a factor. However, you might notice something wrong visually. As the decay progresses, you may become sensitive to cold, hot, or sweet foods. Regular checkups with your dentist are recommended to catch decay early.

What are the effects of tooth decay?

Tooth decay destroys the tooth structure, making it non-solid. You can bite into something relatively soft and still break the tooth. The decay can also reach the nerve, causing severe pain. If you suspect decay, call your dentist to confirm and treat it.

Can tooth decay lead to other complications?

Yes, tooth decay can lead to tooth loss if the tooth is cracked and can't be saved. It can cause significant pain, affecting sleep, and it can also affect the appearance of your teeth, especially if the decay is visible in your smile. It's important to address decay early to avoid these complications.

Can tooth decay return to normal?

Tooth decay can only be returned to normal when treated by a dentist. Other remedies may slow it down, but if the decay has fully developed, a dentist must treat it.

At what point is tooth decay irreversible?

If the decay goes through the enamel completely, it becomes irreversible. Enamel has a certain thickness, and if the decay goes through half of it, specific methods like using MI paste can help remineralize the enamel. However, if it penetrates the entire enamel, only a dentist can fix it.

What are some treatments for tooth decay?

If the decay is small, it can be cleaned out and restored with materials like fillings. Inlays or onlays, made of solid material, can be cemented into the missing area after decay removal. If the decay is too advanced, a crown may be necessary. It's best to address decay early to avoid losing the tooth.