Tooth Decay (Cavities)

Tooth decay is created by bacteria in your mouth. When the bacteria encounters a food source such as sugar, an acid is produced which over time without proper maintenance begins to breakdown the tooth. This results in what is known as tooth decay or what is more commonly known as a “cavity”. Even though not all “cavities” will cause your tooth pain, it is important to have the tooth decay removed and filled with either a silver or white filling to prevent it from spreading to the tooth’s nerve or pulp. If cavities (aka tooth decay) are left untreated it will spread to the tooth’s pulp or nerve causing an infection and pain. When this occurs the next step is a more complex procedure which is known as a root canal. In order to best to understand the stages of tooth decay below is a chart showing the progression from simple tooth decay to what might need root canal therapy:

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