One of the most common oral health related problems we receive here at the Dentistry of Nashville is tooth decay. It is important that this condition is spotted and treated very quickly, as waiting too long can end up costing you a tooth. While we are perfectly capable at restoring your missing teeth with treatments like dental implants and dental bridges, the best solution to tooth decay is to prevent it from ever happening in the first place. Today, Drs. Elam, Vaughan, and Fleming are blogging from their Nashville, TN area office to talk about tooth decay and how it works to destroy your smile.
The Tissues of Your Teeth
Before we talk about tooth decay, you must first know a bit about the various tissues that make up your teeth. The four layers of tissue your teeth are made up of are:
- The Enamel: The outermost layer of a tooth is made up of the enamel. A highly mineralized tissue that is also the hardest substance in your body, the purpose of the enamel is to protect the inner layers of your tooth from harm.
- The Dentin: Another highly mineralized tissue that has a place inside our teeth is dentin. While not as strong as enamel, dentin is able to provide protection for the inner layers of our teeth as well. In addition to protection, dentin also serves to distribute nutrition throughout the tooth.
- The Cementum: The next layer of a tooth is the cementum. Cementum is not near as strong as enamel or dentin, but is still capable of protecting our tooth roots from damage, while also serving to keep them anchored to your jawbone.
- The Pulp: The final tissue that makes up a tooth is the pulp, which is comprised of connective tissue, nerve tissue, lymph and blood vessels, and odontoblasts. If the pulp of your tooth is exposed, it is likely that you will experience undue sensitivity and pain.
Tooth Decay Troubles
If tooth decay manages to get past the enamel protecting your teeth, it will create what is known as a cavity. When this happens, you will need to have the infected tooth treated with a dental filling. If tooth decay manages to reach the pulp of your tooth, you will need a root canal in addition to a dental filling. However, if tooth decay manages to do too much damage to the infected tooth, there will be no other solution available to you other than having that tooth removed. In this situation, we will be able to replace the missing tooth with a dental implant or another restoration once the decay has been cleared from the area.
Call and Schedule a Consultation in Nashville, TN
As you can see, it is very important that you consider treating tooth decay as soon as possible. By leaving the dangerous condition alone, you risk the chance of it spreading to your other teeth, which can lead to even more problems down the line. If you would like to learn more about tooth decay and how we can help prevent this condition from occurring in your mouth, contact us and schedule a no-obligation consultation with Dr. Elam, Dr. Vaughan, and Dr. Fleming today.