Dental Decay Treatment Essex
What is dental decay?
There are many stages of dental decay, with the condition growing worse with time. In many cases, you will not notice you have dental decay until the decay has created a cavity which requires some form of treatment.
Tooth decay (dental caries) in its simplest form results from a bacterial infection of your teeth, where the enamel and dentine of the tooth is softened and weakened, leaving your teeth subject to attack from bacteria. The enamel on your teeth is the hard coating which is not sensitive to pain and is there to protect the tooth, while the dentine is the sensitive covering over the central pulp of the tooth. The dentine lies directly under the enamel and when this starts to decay and rot, the dentine is exposed – causing pain and discomfort.
Let’s take a closer look at how it works and then what we can do to help you through dental decay treatment.
What causes dental decay?
Your mouth is full of millions of tiny bacteria. When you consume food and drink that are high in carbohydrates (typically sugary or starchy foods or drinks), the bacteria breaks the carbohydrates down into acid. This acid then combines with the bacteria, the saliva in your mouth, and small particles of food to produce a sticky film known as plaque. Over time the plaque begins to break down the surface of your tooth. Left untreated, the plaque can completely destroy the outside of the tooth, exposing the nerves inside. Once this happens you will experience toothache and heightened sensitivity in and around that tooth.
Once your tooth reaches this stage of decay, the tooth is dying, and you will need dental decay treatment to prevent the development of a dental abscess.
How common is tooth decay?
Tooth decay is one of the most widespread health problems in the UK. More than half of adults in the UK have one or more decayed or unsound teeth, with many not knowing about the issue until it has become more advanced.
Tooth decay is also a problem for children. It is estimated that between 52% and 77% children aged 8 to 15 have some obvious tooth decay in their permanent teeth.
How will I know if I have tooth decay?
The likelihood is that you won’t know you have dental decay in the earliest stages. Once the decay creates a cavity – or hole – in your tooth, the tooth will become more sensitive, and you will find that your teeth ache a lot more than normal.
The best way to confirm dental decay or to receive advice surrounding the next steps to protect your teeth is through a professional dentist, who will recommend treatment. The most common dental decay treatment options are decay removal and a filling, root canal treatment, or a fluoride varnish which stops further decay and helps to inject the tooth with more minerals to protect it.
Prevention is better than cure
As well as being one of the most widespread health conditions, tooth decay is also one of the most easily preventable ones. Limiting your consumption of sugar, starchy foods and sugary drinks, as well as brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, should prevent tooth decay.
There are a number of techniques that can help repair damaged teeth such as dental fillings and crowns, which are all available through our dental decay treatments in Essex. Another solution for those with no decay to their teeth is to fit a sealant across the top of the tooth, smoothing out any crevices and cracks, and creating a flat surface to clean. This can only be fitted onto an adult tooth with no existing decay and will need to be discussed with your dentist directly.
In the most advanced cases of tooth decay, the decay can be so bad that the tooth may need to be removed – so protect your smile now and book an appointment to get a thorough check up with our team at Bluebell Dentistry and Aesthetics.