Don’t Let Tooth Decay Haunt You: How Dental Crowns Help Treat Cavities
Ouch…my tooth won’t stop hurting!
There are many different reasons why your teeth might be sore. Perhaps you ate a little more candy than originally planned this season. Maybe stress took over your daily routine, making it more difficult to take care of those teeth. Maybe you’ve been grinding your teeth while you sleep. Whatever the reason, that sore mouth is something that shouldn’t be ignored. It could be a sign that you have tooth decay. If that is the case, it’s time to act before the damage becomes more severe.
What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay is the process where the bacteria in your mouth adhere to the teeth. When this bacteria is exposed to sugars from different foods or drinks, it turns into a kind of acid. This acid goes right to work, eating away at the enamel of the tooth. If not taken care of quickly, this acid will create holes, or cavities, in the teeth.
If tooth decay goes untreated, it will undoubtedly cause pain. But that’s not all! Untreated problems such as cavities can lead to infection and even tooth loss. Though this sounds terrifying, don’t panic! If this process starts in some dark corner of your mouth, your dentist will be able to spot it and stop it in its tracks!
What are the stages of tooth decay?
There are multiple stages of tooth decay. First, the enamel on the outside of the tooth starts to weaken. The most common symptom of this stage is white spots on your teeth. This stage is easy to reverse using fluoride mouthwash or getting a fluoride treatment from the dentist.
In the second stage of tooth decay, those white spots begin to turn brown. During this stage, the breakdown of the tooth and enamel is bad enough that cavities begin to form. Fillings will typically stop tooth decay in its tracks at this stage.
If those cavities are ignored, tooth decay continues on its destructive mission. As the enamel has been eaten away, you might begin to notice tooth sensitivity when eating hot or cold things. If caught early in this stage, a simple filling can still solve all of the issues. But if the damage has progressed enough, a crown might be the best solution.
The fourth stage of tooth decay is when the damage reaches the part of your tooth where the blood vessels reside. During this stage, your tooth will likely smell, and you might even notice an unpleasant taste in your mouth. This stage is fixed by a root canal, often followed by dental crowns.
The fifth and final stage of tooth decay is when infection begins to set in. The pain is typically rather severe at this stage and can spread throughout your jaw and face. If the damage is great enough, the tooth might need to be removed. But at this stage, your dentist will still be able to create solutions to restore your smile!
Dental crowns to the rescue!
If tooth decay progresses to the point that cavities are formed, there are still ways to restore your mouth to its former glory. Once that cavity is repaired, crowns can be the missing link to get your teeth back into working order.
Dental crowns can be used in various stages of tooth decay, but they are used most often when the decay is significant, weakening the tooth, or causing significant damage. Because they cover the entire tooth, they are great tools in restorative dentistry. If the damage is less severe, sometimes dental veneers are used instead. Remember, your dentist will create a plan for your specific case!
Is there a long-lasting solution?
With proper care, dental crowns can last for decades! As if that isn’t impressive enough, they are so durable and blend seamlessly with the other teeth, it can be easy to forget that a dental crown is even there. Whether your tooth was weakened or damaged by tooth decay or an injury, a dental crown can go a long way to restoring it to its former glory. With how seamlessly a crown blends in with your other teeth, no one will be the wiser!
How do I maintain my smile post-crown placement?
Caring for your newly strengthened teeth is not as complicated as it may seem. Be sure to keep up with your regular oral care routine. Brush those teeth for a full two minutes, two times a day, and don’t forget the floss. Though the porcelain that the crowns are made of is durable, you want to take care of it. For example, don’t munch on ice, and don’t grind those teeth. If you are prone to grinding your teeth at night, consider wearing a mouth guard to keep your teeth safe.
Be sure to keep your bi-annual dental cleanings. These will help prevent any further tooth decay, and your dentist will be able to spot any potential problems before they get out of hand.
What if I notice signs of a cavity?
Though dental crowns are a fantastic treatment option for various stages of tooth decay, remember that prevention is always the key to keeping your smile bright and healthy. Try to enjoy candies and other sweet foods and drinks in moderation, and brush away any of the hiding sugars as soon as you can! Keep up with a good oral hygiene routine, brushing twice a day and flossing.
If you are noticing any signs of tooth decay, such as tooth pain or cavities, be sure to give your dentist a call! The sooner they are able to treat the problem, the less likely you are to have significant damage. Remember, that there are options out there to help you in whatever stage of tooth decay you might find yourself in!
It’s time to maintain that smile!
No matter what the cause of your tooth pain might be, we’ve seen it before! We would love to talk with you and formulate the perfect plan to restore your smile back to its pain-free glory. Remember that no matter what stage of tooth decay you find yourself in, we have ways to help you feel like yourself again.