Teeth are extremely important, not only to us, humans, but also to other animals who chew their food. Did you know that most elephants die of starvation due to the loss of teeth?
For us of course teeth has many other functions to serve than just assisting us with the chewing. They also enhance our beauty, assist us with proper pronunciation, etc. Therefore, it is important to know how to take care of your teeth.
Some people hesitate to visit a dental practitioner when they have a toothache for the fear of having to remove it. However, teeth are not removed just because they hurt. The decaying process has many phases before reaching the final stage of losing the tooth completely.
The appearance of white or yellow spots on the surface of a tooth is the first sign of tooth decay. This happens due to loss of calcium and can be easily corrected with proper treatment. Fluoride and certain minerals which are found in saliva assist in healing. There is no pain in this phase and regular visits to the dentist South Melbourne will help you identify these symptoms in early stages.
In this stage the enamel begins to break underneath the surface. This poses a risk of the affected tooth breaking if it was not treated properly. If the tooth breaks you have to get the cavity filled.
During this phase the decay goes past the enamel to the dentine and you will experience pain. (For those who do not know, the dentine is the part in between the enamel, which is the outer surface of the tooth, and the pulp, which is the center of the tooth).
You may experience severe pain when consuming hot, cold or sweet food and drinks. At first, pain will be felt only when eating or drinking things which are sweet but later on when the decay is more acute you will feel pain even when consuming hot beverages and foods as well.
A visit to the dental clinic Albert Park can easily put an end to your misery.
Involvement of the pulp
As mentioned earlier, the pulp is the midpoint of the tooth. It is a soft tissue that comprises nerves and blood vessels. So, if the decay persists and reaches the pulp, you will feel immense pain and you may not be able to eat, drink or even sleep properly. You will have to undergo root canal treatment if you neglect tooth decay until it reaches this state. Oh, do not worry. Root canal or endodontic treatment is nothing serious. During this process, the infected pulp is removed, the inside of the tooth is cleaned, disinfected and filled with a substance. Then another surface filling is done to protect the filling and your tooth is as good as new.
This is the truly scary part. The infection has, by now, reached the root of the tooth and may have even affected the bones surrounding the tooth. If it comes to this, you will have to take loads of pain killers to relieve the pain and may even have to undergo surgery in addition to having the tooth removed.
As I said earlier, just because a tooth starts to rot it does not have to be pulled out but if you ignore the decay for long, your visit to the dental practitioner may be prolonged than you ever imagined.