The most important key to unlocking a healthy smile is preventing problems with your teeth and gums before they arise. Both gum disease and tooth decay are among the most common chronic conditions affecting Americans; both can be prevented. While there are certain oral health problems that may not be preventable, early treatment can help keep the problems from progressing. For example, you may have an accident that causes a chip in the tooth. While you may not think it’s a big deal, that chip could be a new perfect hiding spot for decay and bacteria. Over time that decay causes that tiny chip to turn into a larger cavity by eroding away the enamel. Early treatment of that cavity could prevent the escalation of problems.
Let’s go back to our chipped tooth example. Imagine that the cavity caused by the decay is treated with a filling. The tooth is restored to normal. But what if early treatment was neglected? What if you did not notice that there was a cavity until it was too late? Most cavities do not cause pain until they have gotten past the enamel and into the dentin layer of the tooth. The dentin layer is a much smaller, softer layer than enamel, so the decay will work its way through faster. Without a filling, the decay can reach into the inner pulp where the nerves of the tooth live. This is where the pain may kick in. At this point, if you go to the dentist, the tooth may require root canal therapy to clean out the inner pulp area. If treatment was again neglected, the pain may get more severe as an infection may develop. At this stage, an extraction may be necessary.
Early tooth decay and gum disease may not cause you any pain. You may not notice them, and it would be easy to let them slip deeper into something more serious. Your dentist can spot problems early, but only if you get into the exam chair. Dentist checkups should be at least twice yearly or every six months to allow your dentist the opportunity to identify any potential issues.
Early treatment can save your teeth
Learn more preventative treatment from Lone Star Dental Care. Schedule a consultation at our local Frisco, TX office today at 972-335-7100.