Tooth decay is a progressive disease, which means that it will continue to get worse until it is treated. Decay attacks the enamel of the tooth; in the early stage, it will appear as white spots on your enamel. Eventually the attack will lead to a cavity, which means that the decay has broken through the enamel. Once it breaks through the tooth, it cannot be reversed. An early cavity will likely cause no pain, so it may go unnoticed. The cavity will continue to grow, which leaves the tooth vulnerable to breakage. Without a filling, the decay will continue to progress within the tooth.
Once Decay Gets Past The Enamel
First, it will encounter the next layer of your tooth, the dentin. The dentin is a smaller layer making it easy work for the decay to get past. Under the dentin is the inner pulp of the tooth. Once decay reaches the inner pulp, you will likely feel severe pain as this is where the nerve endings of the tooth live. At this stage, root canal treatment may be needed to save the tooth. The tooth may become infected, which can lead to a necessary extraction to prevent the spread of the infection.
How Does A Filling Help?
If caught early enough, your dentist can treat your cavity with a filling. With the filling, your dentist will disinfect your tooth, remove any damaged enamel, and restore the tooth with a metal-free composite bonding material. The bonding material is tooth-colored, and durable like your tooth’s structure. The filling will not only prevent the cavity from getting deeper within the tooth, it will protect your tooth from future attacks.
Preventing Future Cavities
Once you have a cavity, it is important to determine if the cause is something you can prevent in the future. A lax oral hygiene routine can be adjusted for more effective flossing and brushing. Poor nutrition can be swapped for healthy, mindful choices. If you grind your teeth, you may leave your teeth susceptible to tooth decay.
A filling can prevent the need for more serious treatment
A filling can save your tooth. To schedule a consultation, call Grinnell Street Dental at (307) 672-7567. Located in Sheridan, WY, we also proudly serve the residents of Gillette, Billings, Miles City, and all surrounding communities.