A root canal is a common dental procedure that can often be done in a general dentistry office. While it can seem intimidating, a root canal is often not overly painful or uncomfortable. Learning more about getting a root canal from a general dentist can help ease your mind about getting the treatment you need.A…
General Dentistry: The Risks of Untreated Tooth Decay
A lot of general dentistry care is focused on the prevention of tooth decay. It is a common issue, and one that can be reversible in the early stages; however, if left untreated, it can become serious. Knowing the signs of tooth decay and understanding the risks of not giving it the proper care can help you make the right decision for your teeth.
Tooth decay and cavities
Tooth decay is what leads to cavities, or small holes in the teeth. As bacteria eat sugars or other leftover food particles from around the teeth, they create an acid byproduct that causes these holes to form. While not serious in the early stages, if left untreated, cavities continue to grow, causing pain and further decay of the tooth.
Untreated cavities may make it difficult for you to properly chew food due to the pain they cause. Affected teeth will have a greater risk of getting chipped or broken. In serious cases, cavities can cause an infection called an abscess to form. This is a pocket of pus near the site of the infection. A tooth abscess can lead to dangerous complications and may even be life-threatening without treatment.
Treatment and care
While the potential for serious complications from tooth decay is concerning, cavities are a common problem in general dentistry with many treatment options. For mild cases of tooth decay, the problem can be fixed using a fluoride treatment to restore the outer layer of the tooth.
If the cavity has progressed beyond the point of being treatable with fluoride, a filling may be necessary to fix it. Fillings are a routine procedure that can be done in most general dentistry offices. For more advanced cases, a root canal will be necessary to remove the damaged areas and save the tooth. A dentist can help you decide what kind of treatment will work on a case-by-case basis.
If you start to experience symptoms, such as a toothache, that may be related to a cavity, it is a good idea to bring them up at your next dentist appointment. Meeting with a dentist twice a year helps catch issues early on when it will be more likely for simpler and less invasive treatments to work.
Many people experience cavities at some point in their lives. There are a lot of factors that influence how likely you are to have them, including your lifestyle and genetics. A good way to prevent cavities is through daily brushing and flossing of the teeth. Using tooth care products that contain fluoride helps to strengthen teeth for further protection.
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Tooth decay is a common problem, and one of the main things that general dentistry care aims to prevent. While a cavity may not be serious when it first forms, if left without the proper treatment, serious and uncomfortable complications can develop. Most dentists have a lot of experience with cavities and can advise you on how to take care of your oral health.
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