Tooth decay is a common dental issue. But it’s easily preventable and fixable if you take the right care!
Nobody wants rotten teeth! Whether called tooth decay, cavities, or dental caries, rotten teeth cause pain and difficulty eating or drinking. Cavities grow when bacteria breeds in your mouth from sugary or starchy foods. As the bacteria multiplies, it creates a layer of sticky plaque that erodes the tooth enamel. The bacteria and sugar also form acids that bore into the tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay. If the decay reaches into the softer dentin inside the tooth, the decay can progress to an infection within the tooth pulp.
In the early stages, you may not see or feel any effects from tooth decay. But as it advances, toothaches, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, and pain when you bite hard into food will indicate you have a rotten tooth. You may also see holes or discolorations on the tooth surface. Fortunately, rotten teeth — even in the latter stages — can be repaired. A dentist at Espire Dental can discuss all options with you, but these are the most common methods to treat tooth decay.
Five Ways to Repair Rotten Teeth
Early detection is the best way to stop tooth decay in its tracks. If your dentist spots decay in its earliest form, they can spread a fluoride liquid, gel, foam, or varnish over the tooth. These treatments contain more fluoride than what is found in toothpaste and can prevent the decay from spreading further into the tooth enamel. If the decay is more advanced, you may need more extensive therapy, like these five methods:
Fillings. The most frequent treatment for cavities, fillings replace the decayed portion of the tooth with either silver amalgam, composite resin, or porcelain material. Silver amalgam is cheaper and durable, but it’s more visible. Composite resin or porcelain can blend in with the tooth color.
Crowns. In some instances, the decay has worn away most of the tooth. Your dentist will need to remove the decay, leaving behind enough of the tooth to affix a crown. The crown is usually made of gold, porcelain, resin, porcelain fused to metal, or other materials for a strong fit.
Root Canal. Once the decay has infected the root of the tooth, your only option may be a root canal. In this procedure, the decayed root is removed and replaced with a filling and medication to clear any infection. A crown is then secured over the root canal.
Extractions. If the tooth is severely damaged or decayed, it may need to be extracted to prevent the decay and infection from spreading to the gums.
Dentures/Implants. A pulled tooth can leave a noticeable gap in your mouth, but the missing tooth or teeth can be replaced with full or partial dentures, or dental implants that secure an artificial tooth to your bones. Dentures and implants have both pros and cons in regards to cost, durability, and comfort. An Espire dentist can explain both options with you.
Preventing Tooth Decay
The best way to avoid costly and uncomfortable dental procedures is to prevent decay in the first place. A good start would be to follow these oral health guidelines:
Avoid Sugars and Starches. Sugar and starches supercharge bacteria growth in your mouth. Although it’s hard to resist sweets, limit your sugar intake by avoiding sugar-laden drinks and treats. Be aware that some fruits may be high in sugar content, so manage your consumption of those fruits, as well. On the other hand, drinking water boosts saliva in the mouth, which in turn can wash away bacteria.
Practice Oral Hygiene Daily. Brushing after meals or at least twice daily cuts down on the amount of bacteria in the mouth (until you can get a professional teeth cleaning). Use a toothpaste with fluoride. Flossing once a day also cleans bacteria from the crevices between teeth. And if you are at higher risk for cavities, rinse with a fluoride-rich mouthwash.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly. A twice-yearly visit to the dentist for an exam and cleaning can ward off decay or treat it in its earliest stages. Tooth decay is always easier to treat and cure when caught early!
Time to Fight Tooth Decay
Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Colorado Springs location today! Our highly trained dentists can check your teeth for decay and replace any rotten teeth. Don’t live near our Colorado Springs office? Find one of our other locations near you.
8610 Explorer Drive #315
Colorado Springs, CO 80920