Insights on Different Stages of Tooth Decay

You probably have heard about tooth decay but, do you know it occurs in five different stages. Each stage causes various damages to the tooth, increasing pain and discomfort to the patient. Poor oral hygiene and food habits are the major reasons for most dental problems. Do you know most oral health conditions are preventable? Yes, it can be treated and reversed if caught in the early stages. One such dental problem that can be prevented and treated is tooth decay. According to the Australian Dental Association, one in three Australian adults have untreated tooth decay.

What is tooth decay?

Tooth decay is a dental condition that destructs the tooth structure, affecting enamel and dentin layer of the tooth. It occurs when sugary and carbohydrate foods are left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth digest these foods and turn them into acids. As a result, the acid attacks the tooth’s outer structure called enamel, creating holes in the teeth called cavities.

What are the different stages of tooth decay?

White or black spots

The first stage of tooth decay is painless and hard to detect. Sometimes it may show black patches on the teeth. This is when the plaque, bacteria, starts to build upon the tooth’s surface. Over time, the bacteria weaken the enamel and break down the minerals such as calcium in the tooth. This condition is called demineralisation. When this occurs, the tooth structure weakens and is susceptible to bacterial infection and growth. During this stage, white, yellow or black spots tend to appear.

Enamel decay

This is the second stage of tooth decay and occurs when white or black spots are ignored. During this stage, the plaque build-up begins to break down the enamel of the tooth, leaving it soft and porous. At this stage, you’ll experience tooth sensitivity, the first sign of tooth damage and requires treatment.

Dentin decay

The tooth sensitivity is the sign that indicates you need to visit the dentists in Blacktown and get it checked. If ignored, cavities can progress and lead to dentin decay. At this stage, the bacteria can affect the dentin, and you’ll likely experience more sensitivity to cold and hot food items and chewing food may become painful, especially around the infected tooth. At this stage, dental fillings should help as they can prevent the infection from spreading to the root of a damaged tooth.

Pulp infection

If stage three is not treated, the bacteria and decay breaks through the dentin, entering the pulp of the tooth. When the pulp is infected, it can cause extreme tooth pain. The course treatment at this stage would be root canal Blacktown.

Abscess formation

This is the final stage, and it can be extremely painful and cause damages to other teeth as well. When the decay in the canal is untreated, it can affect the root. The bacteria can spread into surrounding tissue, gums, bones, and even bloodstream. At this stage, there’s no way to save the tooth and you are likely to extract them to save other teeth.

As you see, dental decay is dangerous if not treated at an early stage. For further queries about dental decay treatment or teeth whitening Blacktown, please call us.

The author of this article is one of the best Blacktown dentists. Along with a team of professionals, he offers a range of dental services, including teeth whitening Blacktown. Visit for more details.

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