When was the last time you had your beautiful bright smile checked for dental decay? That is one of the mysteries of tooth decay, your tooth can look fine on the outside but inside it is slowly rotting away. The longer it goes untreated, the closer you come to having a seriously infected tooth, tooth pain and the possibility of more serious health problems.
Take Action Before It Is Too Late
Years ago there was a popular campaign to get people to go to the dentist. Billboards read, “Ignore your teeth and they will go away.” The saying was humorous – and true. However, the discomfort, expense and health concerns of neglected dental care were not mentioned. Ignoring a tooth that has dental decay is not a laughing matter by any means. The longer it remains untreated, the more problems it causes.
A small cavity begins in a localized area. Sometimes the hole created in the enamel does not get very big, but as time goes on, the area decay grows larger, affecting adjacent sides of the tooth, all the while eating away at the softer inner tissue and getting nearer and nearer to the nerve center. If the condition is ignored, the pulp will be attacked, and an abscess may develop.
Most people experience a great deal of pain when a tooth becomes infected, but not everyone. Some people have a high pain tolerance while others decide to disregard the pain, thinking that sooner or later it will go away.
In some instances, the pain finally subsides. However, that is usually a good indication that the tooth is dead. Acids produced from the harmful bacteria have attacked the nerves and blood vessels of the tooth. Nothing is left but the necrotic tissue of decay and whatever tooth structure that was not affected. Sometimes the entire crown of the decayed tooth will break off, leaving only the roots.
In addition to the pain caused by an infected tooth, your health can become compromised as well. The bacteria causing the infection in your tooth can spread to other parts of your head and neck. Upper teeth that are infected can lead to irritated sinuses. Serious consequences can evolve if the infection causes inflammation of the membranes near the spinal cord and brain. This results in meningitis, which is a life-threatening disease.
The team at Ora Dentistry is dedicated to ensuring the best possible oral health for all our patients. Keep your smile bright and healthy when you schedule an appointment with us. Call today.