Tooth Decay: 3 Things to Remember
Tooth decay is complex and there is a seemingly endless list of things to learn about it. However, if your dentist could help you remember just the simple facts – there would be three. Tooth decay can cause serious problems for your smile, but it can be prevented and treated, and your smile can be restored. The biggest takeaway from these three things is that tooth decay cannot and should not be ignored. Talk to your dentist in Kansas City, MO, if you have specific questions about your smile’s needs.
#1: It Can Cause Serious Problems
You only get one set of teeth in your lifetime. Those teeth are protected by an outer shell called enamel that, unlike your skin or bone, cannot regenerate or heal. Once your enamel is compromised by erosion, it is gone forever. If your enamel is compromised, it can also allow bacteria to get inside your tooth to reach the sensitive nerves and tissue. The bacteria can cause inflammation and infection. It can be painful, cause tooth loss, and, in the most extreme cases, be life-threatening.
#2: It Can Be Prevented
While not all cavities are caused by poor diet and poor oral hygiene, most of them are. For decay that is caused by issues that may not be preventable, it can be caught at an early enough stage to be reversed. Your dentist is trained to spot the earliest stages of tooth decay (stages before the enamel is compromised), but your dentist cannot spot anything if you are not going for routine dental visits. Cleanings and exams are crucial to keeping your smile healthy.
#3: Your Smile Can Be Restored
As stated up above, enamel cannot grow back. However, your dentist can help restore a compromised tooth. Restoration is important because it cleans out bacteria to stop the decay from further progression and it restores the tooth’s structure. A strong tooth can better protect against future attacks, against breakage, and be able to bite and chew.