Delicate Dental Arts


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Stages of Tooth Decay

Five separate stages occur when your teeth are experiencing decay. If caught early enough by your dentist in Carlsbad CA, you have the chance to reverse or slow the progression. That’s why it’s important to understand what is occurring inside of your mouth. Learn about all these five stages of tooth decay by reading more below.


Stage 1: White Spots Form
During stage one, your tooth begins to show the signs of being attacked. White spots begin to form below the enamel surface to signify demineralization. Your dentist can help to reverse this stage with fluoride, which is why it is important to keep your bi-annual visits.


Stage 2: Decay of the Enamel
During stage two, the enamel comes under attack. The decay begins on the underside of the enamel, so your outer level remains intact for a portion of this stage. Once the cavity makes its way through the surface, there is nothing that can be done other than a filling.


Stage 3: Decay of the Dentin
This is the level where pain begins. The cavity has made the way through the enamel and is now attacking the dentin which lies below. If caught early enough, this cavity can still be filled as a way to prevent the bacteria from spreading into the pulp.


Stage 4: Pulp Involvement
Once your cavity reaches the pulp of the tooth, there is nothing further that can be done to save the tooth other than a root canal. Typically, stage brings a good amount of pain with it that can’t be ignored any longer.


Stage 5: Formation of an Abscess
During the final stage of decay, an infection reaches into the tooth’s root. This can spread to the surrounding tissues and even the bones of your mouth. Swelling and pain become severe and it could be fatal if not dealt with. At this point, you have no options other than a root canal or tooth extraction.


As we’ve shown, decay isn’t a process that happens overnight. But thankfully, good dental hygiene and regular trips to your dentist in Carlsbad CA can help you to prevent pain and costly dental procedures down the road. Avoid having to undergo root canals or extractions by keeping up with your daily care. If you’re looking for helpful tips on how to improve your dental routine, call Delicate Dental Arts today at (760) 454-1422 to schedule your consultation or appointment.

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