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Dental X-Ray

Oral hygiene is important for many reasons. It can help keep your teeth and gums healthy, and it can help prevent or detect various diseases. That’s why it’s important to brush and floss properly, avoid sugary foods, and get regular exams at an office for family cosmetic dentistry in Houston, TX. Unfortunately, in spite of our best efforts, our teeth sometimes start to decay as we age. It doesn’t happen all at once, though, and you can watch out for signs of the different stages.

White Spots

White spots can start to appear just below the enamel, which is the hard, mineralized outer layer of your teeth. It’s hard for the average person to tell what’s normal and what’s discoloration when it comes to teeth, but if you regularly have them checked by cosmetic family dentistry in Houston, TX, then they should be able to see the signs and repair it fairly quickly.

Enamel Decay

When those white spots start working outward through the enamel, it creates a more serious problem. This slow erosion attacks the enamel until it leaves a hole behind, and at this point, you will need to visit a dentist to get it filled.

Dentin Decay

Dentin is the layer under the enamel. It’s made of dense, bony tissue, and it, along with the pulp, covers the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels. That means that when the enamel is gone, and the dentin is exposed, your tooth might get sensitive to temperature changes or certain acidic or sweet foods. When the dentin starts to decay, it might start to hurt.

Cavity in the Pulp

The pulp is the last line of defense over the tooth’s nerves. This layer is made of living connective tissue, and when the cavity reaches this layer, that’s when things start to get very painful. At this point, the best thing to do is to visit your dentist and schedule a tooth intervention. Fillings are no longer an option, since those only address the outer layers, so you’ll need a root canal, in which the dentists clean out the infection from the inside, or you’ll need to remove the tooth altogether.

Dental X-Ray

Abscesses

If you let the infection continue without addressing it, that infection will work its way down to the root and form an abscess. That’s a swollen area that usually contains pus and can be extremely painful and dangerous. If your cavity reaches this stage, you definitely need to visit your dentist so that they can perform a root canal or extraction and begin to allow your mouth to heal. Luckily, cavities don’t need to get to this stage. You can prevent many through proper oral hygiene practices, and you can catch them early with regular dental exams. If you want a clean, healthy mouth, schedule an appointment with Made Ya Smile today.