Restorative Dentistry: The Sooner the Better
When it comes to your health, getting restorative dentistry treatment sooner is always best.
In general, problem-solving works best when it’s done right away. Waiting to resolve a problem only gives it time to worsen, but doing it right away can yield better results than you expected initially. This is true in all areas of your life, from your job and your relationships to your health, including your oral health. Your mouth is just as connected to your overall health as the rest of your body is, so taking care of it is just another way of taking care of yourself so you can live a longer, healthier, and more active life.
Even when you’re doing your best to take care of your oral health, you can still experience an issue like a cavity or tooth pain every once in a while. Taking immediate steps to diagnose and solve an oral health problem using restorative dentistry helps you get your oral and overall health back on track.
The sooner you use restorative dentistry to resolve an issue like a toothache, the better it is for your health! To help you understand just how important this can be, we’ve broken down how oral health issues can impact you as well as how restorative dentistry can help.
Understand the progression of a cavity or infection.
Cavities and tooth infections develop in stages over time, progressing further the longer they go untreated. Understanding these stages can help you take better care of your oral health and could even save your teeth, so it’s worth learning!
Cavities begin forming when bacteria build up on your teeth as a film called plaque. As oral bacteria eat sugars from the foods you eat, they produce acid that damages your tooth enamel by leaching minerals from it. This is the first stage of cavity formation called demineralization, and it is sometimes visible as a small, white spot on your tooth. These spots are easy to miss, though, so while Dr. Naik can spot them during a professional dental exam, you may not see any visible signs of this stage of decay at home.
A true cavity forms during the second stage, when acid begins to eat through your enamel, causing the spot on your tooth to darken to brown. It’s often not painful, but it’s at this stage that you begin needing a dental filling. The third stage of a cavity is reached when the bacteria eat through your enamel and make it into the soft dentin beneath it. Bacteria eat through dentin easier, and cavities begin progressing at faster rates once they’ve reached this stage. At this point, you may notice some tooth sensitivity, often in response to hot or cold temperatures.
Once the cavity has progressed through the dentin, it hits its fourth stage by reaching the interior, or pulp, of your tooth. This is where the nerves and blood vessels are located, and this is why this stage often causes a lot of tooth pain. At this point, you have a severe cavity on your hands that needs to be treated as soon as possible with a root canal and dental crown.
If your cavity continues to go untreated, the bacteria making their way into the pulp of your tooth can cause you to develop an infection, also called an abscess. This is a painful condition that can lead to symptoms like fever and swelling in your gums, jaw, and even the lymph nodes in your neck. Eventually, untreated cavities or dental infections can both lead to tooth loss. Thankfully, though, none of this is inevitable; that’s where early restorative dentistry treatment comes in!
Getting treatment early is always best.
Early diagnosis and treatment are cornerstones of healthy living everywhere, including where your oral health is concerned. As soon as you know you have a toothache or infection, you should take steps to fix it. After all, the earlier you receive restorative dentistry treatment, the less invasive the treatment will need to be.
A huge part of early diagnosis and prevention is making sure you schedule a dental exam with Dr. Naik every six months. During this appointment, she’ll give your teeth a professional cleaning, which actively helps fight decay, and will examine them for signs of cavities or gum disease.
When she’s able to look at your teeth regularly, she’s able to spot issues earlier—ideally, when they’re just starting to become a problem. When you catch a cavity early like this, you may only need a small filling, which can be done with a quick, simple procedure.
Leaving a cavity untreated, however, will only give it more time to worsen. No matter what stage your cavity is at, though, you don’t need to go through the process alone; your dentist is here to help you! Dr. Naik will sit down with you to answer any questions you may have, and she’ll recommend the best restorative dentistry treatment for you to help you get your oral health back on track.
Treating cavities protects your oral and overall health.
Once cavities form, they don’t simply go away just by stepping up your oral hygiene routine. That’s a great step that can help you prevent future cavities, but you’ll still need to receive treatment for existing ones to prevent them from getting worse. Teeth with untreated cavities often cause a lot of tooth pain and may eventually need to be extracted. When you lose teeth, they need to be replaced with a prosthetic such as a bridge, dental implants, or eventually dentures to ensure you don’t lose any jawbone density.
Additionally, letting a tooth infection go untreated can have severe consequences beyond just costing you a tooth; it can also have a very real impact on your overall health. An untreated tooth infection can allow bacteria into your bloodstream, leading to widespread inflammation that can cause issues like increased blood pressure and increased risks of heart disease and stroke. It even has the potential to cause bacteria to reach your heart or brain, which can have long-lasting—and potentially deadly—consequences.
Whether they’re in your mouth or anywhere else in your body, infections should never be left untreated or taken lightly, so it’s always important to seek treatment for these issues as soon as possible. If you notice symptoms like tooth pain or swelling in your mouth or jaw, you could have a severe cavity or dental infection that needs immediate treatment. When in doubt, call Dr. Naik to schedule an appointment. When it comes to your health, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Receiving restorative dentistry treatment now protects your health and saves you money.
When you seek restorative dentistry treatment for concerning symptoms right away and schedule regular checkups with Dr. Naik every six months, your oral and overall health will simply be better. You’ll feel better, potentially even in ways you wouldn’t have expected!
Plus, focusing on prevention and early restorative dentistry treatment like this saves you the stress and money that comes with needing bigger dental treatments. You may just be going to a regular appointment, but that regular appointment will actively help prevent oral health issues and will spot potential issues when they’re easier and less expensive to treat. That really makes it a win-win!
It’s always best to take the steps you need to get healthier now—for your oral and overall health! And since your entire body is connected, a healthier mouth also means a healthier body. If you’d like to get started down a path that will help you live a longer, healthier, and more active life, feel free to schedule a consultation with Dr. Naik at any time.