The 4 Stages of Tooth Decay

Tooth DecayA healthy set of teeth is important to a healthy lifestyle. Just imagine if you have a massive tooth decay. Not only will you experience extreme discomfort and pain, you are also putting yourself at risk for more serious health problems, such as bacterial infections and gum diseases. Additionally, it simply is quite worrisome to be eating your favourite dish, or drinking your favourite beverage if the base of your tooth is exposed.

As Strand Dental says, “Making sure that your teeth are strong and healthy is an important component of maintaining overall good health.” This reinfoces the importance of regular dental check-ups, as dentists can identify the first sign of oral problems. What are the different stages of tooth decay?

Early Enamel Decay

In the early stages of tooth decay, only the outermost surface is affected, the enamel. In this stage, you will not be able to experience pain because there are no nerve endings on this hard layer.

Treatment: Your dentist will apply high concentrations of fluoride to reinforce the structure of the enamel. Dentists also recommend the use of heavily-fluoridated oral health products to help in the prevention of further decay.

Dentin Decay

If cavities have already damaged the enamel and reached the next layer of the tooth, the dentin, you now have stage II tooth decay. This is characterised by overly sensitive tooth.

Treatment: Dental fillings are often the treatment if the crack is still small. If the overall structure of the teeth is still intact, the fillings should suffice. Otherwise, a dental crown may have to be attached.

Pulp Involvement

Stage III tooth decay already affects the innermost layer of the teeth, the pulp. This is where blood vessels and nerve endings are located. As such, it will be extremely painful.

Treatment: This often requires major restorative work, as well as root canal treatment. If these are not possible, dentists may recommend tooth extraction as another options.

Abscess Formation

Stage IV involves the formation of abscess on the affected area. During this stage, the pulp is grossly infected with bacteria, creating pus and producing pain.

Treatment: In addition to the treatments in Stage III, dentists may administer systemic antibiotics to combat the infection.

Tooth decay brings more problems if neglected. Act immediately if you notice the early signs of decay. The earlier you treat this, the less you have to worry about oral problems.