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Tooth Decay
Brookfield, IL

 Translucent model of teeth showing red roots of a decaying tooth,at Brookfield Oral Surgery in Brookfield, IL. Tooth decay is like a tiny, invisible army attacking your teeth. Think of them as the cavities' minions – bacteria. These little troublemakers form a sticky film on your teeth called plaque. The thicker the layer, the more severe the dental disease.

Tooth decay usually occurs when the enamel, the tooth's outer protective layer, is damaged. A combination of acids and poor oral hygiene causes this damage. Following are the symptoms and a few culprits behind this oral problem:

Symptoms of Tooth Decay

•  Tooth sensitivity
•  Toothache
•  Visible holes or pits
•  Staining on the tooth surface
•  Bad breath (Halitosis)
•  Unpleasant taste
•  Pain while chewing
•  Swelling or pus around the tooth
•  Pain in the gums or jaw
•  Increased tooth mobility

Cause of Tooth Decay – The Deterioration in Stages

•  Formation of Dental Plaque: The bacteria in plaque thrive on sugars and starches present in the food you eat. It builds up if not removed through proper oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing.
•  Bacterial Action: Lactic and acetic acids are byproducts of bacterial plaque formed due to carbohydrates and sugar. These are detrimental to the tooth enamel.
•  Enamel Demineralization: The acids produced by bacteria lead to demineralization of the enamel, stripping away calcium and phosphate. This weakens the enamel, making it more susceptible to damage.
•  Formation of Cavities: With continued acid attacks, the enamel's structure breaks down, forming small holes or pits in the tooth surface. These are the initial stages of cavities.
•  Progression to Dentin: If left untreated, the decay progresses beyond the enamel and reaches the underlying dentin, which is softer than enamel. This can lead to tooth sensitivity.
•  Pulp Involvement: The tooth's innermost part contains nerves and blood vessels. Once these are infected, it can lead to severe toothache and inflammation.
•  Abscess Formation: In the advanced stages of tooth decay, bacteria can spread to the tooth's root, causing an infection and the formation of an abscess.
•  Tooth Loss: If tooth decay is left untreated, it can ultimately lead to the loss of the affected tooth. The destruction of tooth structure compromises its stability, making a Brookfield oral surgery, such as extraction, the only viable solution.

Tooth Decay Treatment Options

Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen enamel and prevent tooth decay. In cases of early-stage decay, your dentist may recommend fluoride treatment. This involves applying a concentrated fluoride solution directly to the affected tooth.

The fluoride gel, foam, or varnish is applied with a brush or placed in a tray that fits over your teeth. This treatment helps remineralize the enamel, making it more resistant to acids.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown may be recommended for more extensive decay that has weakened the tooth structure. A crown is a cap that covers the entire tooth, providing strength and protection. The tooth is usually reshaped to accommodate the crown. The crown is then custom-made and cemented onto the prepared tooth. Crowns are often used for molars and premolars.

Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are a common and effective way to treat cavities. The tooth's decayed portion is removed, and the resulting hole is filled with a dental material such as amalgam, composite resin, gold, or porcelain. The filling restores the tooth's structure and prevents further decay.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are thin, protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars to prevent decay in the deep grooves and pits.

The dentist cleans and dries the tooth, applies an acidic solution to roughen the surface, and then places the sealant on the tooth. The sealant bonds to the tooth and acts as a barrier against bacteria and acids.

Tooth Extraction

Extraction may be necessary in cases of advanced decay where the tooth cannot be saved. This involves removing the entire tooth from its socket. After numbing the area, the dentist uses specialized tools to loosen and extract the tooth. Following extraction, the dentist may discuss replacement options, such as dental implants, bridges, or dentures.

Root Canal Therapy

When decay reaches the pulp (innermost part) of the tooth, it can cause severe pain and infection. Root canal therapy is a Brookfield oral surgery to remove the infected pulp, clean the canal, and seal it to prevent further infection.

After cleaning, the space is filled with gutta-percha (a plastic substance), and the tooth is usually restored with a crown for added protection.

Tips for Preventing Tooth Decay

•  Brush your teeth at least twice daily, preferably in the morning and before bedtime.
•  Rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash.
•  Choose a fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your tooth enamel and protect against decay.
•  Don't forget to floss. It helps remove plaque and debris between teeth that your toothbrush may miss.
•  Reduce your intake of sugary foods and beverages, as sugar promotes the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay.
•  Limit snacking between meals to prevent prolonged exposure of your teeth to acids produced by bacteria.
•  Chewing sugar-free gum stimulates saliva production, helping neutralize acids. This helps strengthen enamel.
•  Water helps maintain a balanced oral environment and keeps your mouth hydrated, reducing decay risk.
•  Regular dental check-ups are essential for early detection and prevention of dental issues.
•  Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and replace it every three to four months to ensure effective cleaning.
•  Avoid habits like nail-biting and teeth grinding, as they can contribute to enamel wear and decay.
•  Acidic foods and beverages can erode tooth enamel, so consume them in moderation and rinse your mouth afterward.
•  Quit smoking as it not only stains your teeth but also contributes to gum disease and tooth decay.

Maintaining a consistent oral care routine, including regular brushing, flossing, and using fluoride products, is the foundation of preventing tooth decay. These practices help remove plaque, the primary culprit behind this dental problem, and strengthen the enamel, providing a strong line of defense against acid attacks.

Are you experiencing persistent toothaches or while chewing? Don't ignore these signals; they could be signs of tooth decay. Our dedicated team of skilled professionals at Brookfield Oral Surgery is here to provide you with top-notch dental care and treatments tailored to your unique needs. Talk to Dr. Tyran Johnson for guidance on preventive treatments to halt decay progression. Contact us at 708-854-0808 or visit our website to schedule your appointment today.

Our Convenient Location

Brookfield Oral Surgery

9240 Broadway Ave. Brookfield, IL 60513-1252
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Tooth Decay | Brookfield, IL | Brookfield Oral Surgery
If the battle is lost to tooth decay, our team at Brookfield Oral Surgery can remove the decay and restore the tooth. Click here to learn more.
Brookfield Oral Surgery, 9240 Broadway Ave., Brookfield, IL 60513 ^ 708-854-0808 ^ ^ 4/4/2024 ^ Related Phrases: oral surgeon Brookfield IL ^