Here's Why You Shouldn't Wait to Get Your Tooth Decay Treated
Getting an annual dental check-up is crucial for the long-term health of your teeth and gums. One of the main benefits of these exams is that the dentist can give you an early warning if you show signs of tooth decay. Any damage to a tooth should be treated as soon as possible to avoid more invasive and expensive dental restorations.
The team at Made Ya Smile The Woodlands in Woodlands, TX performs annual dental exams for children and adults. Read on to find out just how important it is to identify and treat tooth decay as early as possible.
What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay is damage to the tooth's surface (or enamel). This damage can result from bacterial buildup, too much sugar, and inadequate oral hygiene. If the substances you eat or drink are allowed to sit on teeth for too long, they form a sticky plaque that can be hard to remove without daily brushing and flossing.
Sometimes, there are no signs of tooth decay. Plaque can build up on your teeth without you feeling any pain and requires a dentist to identify and treat. That's why twice-yearly cleanings and annual exams are so important.
In some patients, it's only when the decay is severe enough to reach the pulp of your tooth that it begins to ache. The damage from tooth decay can eventually reach your gums, causing severe pain or infection. And without treatment, it can even lead to tooth loss.
How is tooth decay treated?
Dental cleanings that include fluoride treatments can help fend off further deterioration if tooth decay is minor. However, once tooth enamel is damaged, it does not grow back.
If a tooth becomes damaged, you may need a filling. Patients may need a root canal or a tooth extraction for more severe deterioration. After a tooth is removed or repaired, you may need an implant or a crown to maintain the integrity of your jaw.
When decay is bad enough to warrant a tooth extraction, your teeth can shift and interfere with your smile, bite, and even the symmetry of your cheekbones. In this case, repairing the damage will require more extensive restorative work.
Why you shouldn't wait to treat tooth decay
The longer you wait to treat a decaying tooth, the more dental care you will likely need. And in cases where decay causes a toothache, the pain tends to worsen and can lead to serious (and even life-threatening) infections. And the sooner you get a decaying tooth repaired, the less likely you are to lose the tooth.
The early detection of tooth decay can also save you time and money. Identifying tooth issues early allows the team at Made Ya Smile The Woodlands to take the least invasive approach to solve the problem.
Treating tooth decay in Woodlands, TX
While not everyone has symptoms, it's crucial to have a dentist inspect your teeth at least once a year to identify any signs of tooth decay. Catching it early gives patients the option of taking the least costly and invasive route toward treatment and repair.
Schedule an annual dental exam with the team at Made Ya Smile The Woodlands in Woodlands, TX today to get insight into your oral health.