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Tooth Decay
Winston-Salem, NC

woman smiling after exam from Gibson & Bartholomew Restorative and Esthetic Dentistry in Winston-Salem,NC.In simple terms, tooth decay can be defined as the destruction of tooth enamel that may result in cavities, abscesses, and even tooth loss. This damage is caused due to certain bacteria that accumulate within the dental plaque and convert the starch and sugar you consume into harmful acids. As this plaque builds over time, it becomes a health-provoking threat to your oral well-being.

Five Stages of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay generally happens in five stages once dental plaque starts to build upon your teeth.

Stage 1 - Demineralization

When exposed to detrimental acids, tooth enamel begins to lose the minerals that keep it protected from bacteria. Once that happens, you can detect the initial sign of tooth decay in the form of white spots appearing on your teeth.

Stage 2 - Enamel Decay

When demineralization continues without treatment, enamel begins to break down, and the white spots start darkening to a brownish color. As enamel weakens, it causes cavities that need to be immediately filled by a dentist before any further damage occurs.

Stage 3 - Dentin Decay

Tooth decay proceeds to destroy the dentin when left ignored, which is the soft tissue under the enamel. You might experience mild to severe sensitivity at this stage since dentin also includes tubes that lead to the nerves of the tooth.

Stage 4 - Pulp Damage

Pulp is referred to as the innermost layer of the tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves. When the pulp gets damaged, the affected area starts to swell, and any pressure on the defective teeth leads to unignorable pain.

Stage 5 - Dental Abscess

Lastly, as tooth decay takes root into the pulp, the bacteria residing there cause a dental infection that may even spread throughout your body, starting from your gums, face, and neck. Once that happens, extraction of the tooth or a root canal is the only option you have left to undo the severe damage.

Prevention of Tooth Decay

To prevent tooth decay, you must follow the given instructions consistently:
•  Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride-based toothpaste. It’s crucial not to skip brushing your teeth before bedtime.
•  Floss regularly to get rid of the tiny food particles that may be gathering in between your teeth and accumulating bacteria.
•  Rinse your mouth at least once a day with a fluoride-containing mouthwash as it keeps the bacteria from causing plaque.
•  Consider avoiding carbohydrate drinks, chewy candies, and foods that may stick to the tooth’s surface and subject you to foul mouth odor.
•  Get fluoride treatment to eliminate the problems relating to tooth decay effectively.
•  Visit your dentist bi-annually for oral exams and professional cleanings.

At Gibson & Bartholomew Restorative and Esthetic Dentistry, we perform thorough dental checkups to make sure our clients aren’t suffering from any of the five stages of tooth decay. Whether you’re looking to get a dental examination or need effective treatments to undo the damage caused due to decay, our dental experts can help you. To schedule an appointment, please call us at (336) 283-2593.

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Tooth Decay | Kurt A. Gibson DDS, PA | Winston-Salem, NC Dentist
At Kurt A. Gibson, DDS, PA, we perform dental checkups to make sure our clients aren’t suffering from the stages of tooth decay. To schedule an appointment call us today!
Gibson & Bartholomew, 1341 Westgate Center Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27103-3043 • (336) 283-2593 • • 5/28/2024 • Associated Words: Dentist Winston Salem NC •