Most of our body is capable of healing. When we get a bruise, it’s often only a few days before it disappears. Even more serious injuries can be mended relatively quickly. But our teeth are different. Once the tooth’s structure is damaged, there’s no going back & if left untreated, your smile could suffer.
Tooth enamel that has been weakened can be remineralized & become stronger through more thorough & regular hygiene. However, this is often misinterpreted as a reversal of tooth decay. These false claims are a great example of why it’s always best to talk to a licensed medical professional about your health concerns. The truth is, once the enamel has begun to form a hole—or cavity—it will never build back up those minerals.
Stages of Decay
Cavities will progress into larger & larger holes that go further into your tooth. What begins in the tough, outer layer of enamel eventually works its way down to the dentin. Dentin is a softer layer between your enamel & the dental pulp, which contains the tooth’s nerve. Then, if the hole is not sealed, the dental pulp—a sensitive area—can be exposed. The further down the cavity, the more it will hurt, as well as pose the potential to spread an infection.
What to Do
The best solution for tooth decay is visiting the dentist regularly for a cleaning. During these cleanings, your dentist can spot cavities in their early stages, when less invasive treatment options are available. If a tooth is left untreated for too long, the only option becomes removing the tooth entirely with surgery.
Plus, catching cavities easier means saving money in the long run. Cleanings are often covered by dental insurance & many dentists provide in-house dental plans to make quality dental care affordable for their uninsured patients.