You can develop tooth decay at any age, but it is most predominant in teenagers and children. If you happen to catch it at an early stage, you can get a simple treatment at the dentist as a preventive measure. Tooth decay at its most malignant can trigger serious dental problems like periodontal disease. Let’s find out how to catch signs of tooth decay at an early stage and take preventive measures.
How to Recognize Early Signs of Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay usually starts with signs of cavities. But there are some telltale signs that can reveal if your cavity will progress into tooth decay. It is best to check with your dentist when you see pits and cracks on the surface. This will require minimal treatment to fix. However if you have missed your chance and already progressed to cavities, then a simple root canal therapy is your answer. These are the symptoms you can expect if you are in the early stages of tooth decay.
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Severe toothache pain
- Swelling and/or tenderness
If you see any of the above symptoms you need to consult your dentist immediately. A simple root canal treatment will take care of your condition. It can act as preventive care as well and without extraction and replacement.
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What to expect from root canal treatment?
For the root canal therapy, the procedure is conducted as follows:
- The dentist will take an x-ray to check the condition of the affected tooth. It will also help determine how much the tooth has been infected.
- A local anesthetic will be used to numb the area and ensure the treatment is painless for you.
- The tooth is wrapped in a rubber structure to ensure the area stays dry. The dentist drills through the pulp chamber and uses special tools to remove the infected tissue.
- The tooth is then filled using a material called “gutta-percha” that is designed to imitate the pulp chamber.
- The crown is added to the top layer after the chamber is sterilized using a special gel. The crown ensures that the tooth functions as intended.
The image below can give you a visual idea of how a root canal treatment is conducted.
In Root canal therapy, the tooth is restored without having to extract it and replace it with an artificial one. This is the healthier choice as you retain your natural tooth and you can still enjoy your favorite foods with minimal restrictions.
There are other steps as well to improve the strength of your natural enamel that can help prevent your tooth from developing more problems. If you find yourself coming down with symptoms of tooth decay, visit your dentist immediately. If you’re lucky, you can still save your natural tooth with just a root canal therapy.
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