How Serious of an Issue Is Tooth Decay?

The thing about tooth decay is that, despite being the most common chronic dental health condition, it’s also highly preventable. If it does develop, it can usually be treated with a minimally invasive restoration, such as a tooth-colored filling, before it gets too serious. At our Livonia, MI, dental office, we can help customize your tooth decay treatment to make it much less serious of an issue. However, if you wait too long to treat it, then the threat that the decay poses to the rest of your oral health will become increasingly more severe.

How decay starts in your tooth

Tooth decay is a product of certain oral bacteria, which accumulate together to form dental plaque. When enough plaque clings to your teeth, bacteria can release enough acids to weaken your tooth enamel and allow bacteria to infect the structure underneath it. This infection is known as tooth decay, and the depression that forms in your tooth as a result of it is known as a cavity. The longer decay is allowed to progress, the larger the cavity will grow, and the more intense your toothache will become.

When it’s still a minor problem

When a cavity is still in its relatively minor stages, the most effective treatment may be with a custom tooth-colored filling. A tooth-colored filling is made from biocompatible composite resin and tinted to match the color of your tooth. After your dentist removes the harmful oral bacteria and infected tooth structures from the cavity, it can be filled with the tooth-colored composite resin, which conforms to the cavity’s shape. Once the filling is placed, the resin can be hardened to create a durable and effective restoration.

When it becomes a serious threat

If your tooth decay is allowed to progress enough, it can affect the inner parts of your tooth structure, pulp, where the nerves and blood vessels are. This internal infection is much more serious, and can cause severe tooth pain even when you aren’t biting and chewing. Treating severe tooth decay may require root canal treatment, which involves removing the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels and restoring the inner pulp chamber and the root canal that connects to it.

Save your tooth from serious decay

Treating tooth decay is a common dental practice, but what that treatment entails depends on a number of different factors. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, call the office of James Stewart, DDS in Livonia, MI, today at (734) 425-4400.