A dental filling can be very important to the state of your oral health. Tooth decay begins with bacteria that attach to teeth and form plaque. Lingering in the mouth, these bacteria consume any leftover sugars and produce an acid byproduct that is capable of wearing away tooth enamel. As enamel wears away, a cavity can develop, lowering the tooth’s defenses and compromising its health. It is at this point that a dental filling can intervene and restore the tooth’s health. But what happens if a dental filling is not placed? Dr. Deborha Staten explains below.
The Progression of Tooth Decay
Following the development of a cavity, a dental filling should be placed immediately. To place a dental filling, Dr. Staten scrapes away any decayed material before filling the exposed cavity with the filling material. She then dries the material, smoothes it, and polishes it, effectively protecting the tooth from further decay.
If, however, a filling is neglected in a tooth with a cavity, decay can worsen. Once bacteria reach the tooth’s pulp, infection is a serious risk. With infected pulp, a tooth can soon die and fall out. However, there is no guarantee that the infection will remain contained inside a single tooth. It may spread to other teeth or even into the body, resulting in illness. Should a tooth’s pulp become infected, root canal treatment is necessary to remove the infected pulp and preserve the tooth’s structure.
Preventing Tooth Decay
To avoid having to deal with tooth decay, the best thing you can do is implement a thorough and consistent homecare regimen. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Also, be sure that you attend regular dental visits with your dentist.
Schedule a Visit with Dr. staten today
If more than six months have passed since your last dental visit, you are due for a checkup. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Staten today by calling 702-736-7979.