Is a common problem that occurs when acids in your mouth dissolve the outer layer of your teeth. It is known as dental decay or dental caries.
Signs & Symptoms
Tooth decay may not cause any symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage. As the problem develops, symptoms of tooth decay can include:
If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to further problems such as cavities, gum disease or dental abscesses.
When To See Your Dentist
Toothache is a warning that something is wrong and that you should visit your dentist as soon as possible. If you ignore the problem it may get worse and you could end up losing the tooth.
Even if you do not have any noticeable problems with your teeth, it is still important to have regular dental check-ups so your dentist can check for early signs of decay. Tooth decay is much easier to treat in its early stages.
The dentists will examine your teeth and occasionally take X-rays to check for any cavities or abscesses.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
The mouth is full of bacteria that combine with small food particles and saliva to form a sticky film known as Plaque. The plaque uses the food and drink you intake and produce acid that destroys the outer layer of your tooth.
How To Prevent Tooth Decay?
The best way to avoid tooth decay is to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. You should:
How Is Tooth Decay Treated?
If you see your dentist when the decay is in the early stages, your dentist may apply a fluoride varnish to the area to help stop further decay.
If the decay has worn away the outer layer of your tooth and caused a cavity, your dentist will remove the decay and refill the hole in your tooth with a filling. If the nerve in the middle of the tooth is damaged, you may need root canal treatment, which involves removing the nerve and restoring the tooth with a filling or a crown.
If the tooth is so badly damaged that it cannot be restored, it may need to be removed.
What Is A Filling?
Fillings are used to repair a cavity in your tooth caused by decay. The most common type of filling is dental amalgam, made from a mixture of mercury and different metals. Dental amalgam fillings are often used on your back teeth as they are hard-wearing.
Your dentist will offer you the type of filling most appropriate for your clinical needs. This may include a tooth-coloured (white) filling. For example, if you need a filling for one of your front teeth, your dentist may suggest a tooth-coloured filling, but the use of the tooth-coloured fillings on back teeth is considered purely cosmetic.
We can safely replace silver amalgam filling with white tooth-coloured fillings.