The Stages of Tooth Decay

Tooth DecayTooth decay is one of the most common dental ailments that we see here at DC Dental Group. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth that produce acids that eat away at the tooth. Tooth decay can lead to cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss.

Here are the five stages of tooth decay.

Stage 1

In the first stage of tooth decay you will notice the appearance of yellowish spots or white areas on the surface of your tooth. This occurs due to a loss of calcium. During this stage of tooth decay you can still reverse the process through the use of fluoride and minerals present in saliva.

Stage 2

During this moderate stage of tooth decay, the enamel starts breaking down below the surface layer, but with the surface intact. If the decay is not treated quickly the surface of the tooth will be broken and irrevocably damaged.

Visit your dentist immediately for the tooth be cleaned and filled by your dentist.

Stage 3  

In the third stage of decay, the damage has spread beyond the enamel and into the dentin. This is the final stage that can be reversed by a dentist with a filling. This is also the stage where you might experience pain or a toothache.

Stage 4

This stage indicates that a root canal procedure may be necessary. The pulp of the tooth has been infected with bacteria and there could even be the formation of pus. Visit a doctor immediately before the infection forms into an abscess.

Stage 5

Abscess formation isn’t just a serious dental health issue it is a serious overall health issue. An abscess forms when the infection reaches the root of the tip, and the jaw bone has become infected resulting in excruciating pain. There could be visible swelling in the cheeks and you will need a prescription of antibiotics and painkillers.