Dental decay – Looking Between the Teeth?

Have you ever gone to the dentist thinking your teeth were in good shape, only to find out you have decay in them?

You run your tongue over your teeth to find these cavities, but can’t feel anything broken or sharp?

You’re then told that these areas of decay were only picked up on the X-rays, and now need fillings in them.

Your trusted Kareela dentist will explain in detail how the decay was formed, and how to prevent them!

What is dental decay?

Dental decay is the development of cavities (holes) in the teeth. In Australian children, it is the most prevalent oral disease and the most widespread noncommunicable disease.

How is dental decay formed?

Bacteria, or plaque, is a thin and sticky film which repeatedly forms over teeth. When plaque interacts with sugar, it produces an acid which slowly dissolves the tooth structure creating cavities in the teeth. If the decay progresses, it will reach the nerve in the tooth causing an abscess, which may result in the tooth being removed.

Dental decay commonly starts in hard-to-clean areas, with the most common area being between the teeth. Often, unless the decay is very large, these areas of decay can only be picked up on X-rays.

What can be done now I have dental decay?

When dental decay extends past the enamel, the decay needs to be carefully removed and the tooth restored with a filling.

On an X-ray, the decay appears as a darker shadow as circled in the X-ray below.

In the mouth, the tooth appears to be sound and healthy as seen in the photograph below. But it is clear on the X-ray there is decay there.

Once the tooth is numb, there will be no pain experienced at all. Your Kareela dentist will carefully drill into the area of decay. The decay is the orange-brown area seen below which is very soft and mushy – and it is significantly larger than it seems on the X-ray.

After all the decay is removed, a white filling is placed so the tooth is strong and functional again. The blue marks shows where the teeth are contacting – we only want light forces on the filling.

How can I prevent future dental decay from forming?

  • Limit sugary drinks and snacks between meals
  • Using a fluoride toothpaste – fluoride makes enamel more resistant to
  • Brush and floss twice a day
  • See your dentist regularly
    • At Kareela Family Dental, we recommend 6 monthly check-ups and X-rays so we can identify problems and treat them early!

If you would like your trusted Kareela dentist check your teeth and make sure their decay free, Contact Us your local Kareela Dentist today or Book Online.