When you think of tooth decay and cavities, you may automatically think of tooth fillings. While fillings are a common treatment for moderate cavities, tooth decay can often become much more serious than you expect. All it needs is time to progress. In cases of more severe tooth decay, a tooth filling won’t be enough to restore the significant amount of tooth structure and tooth tissues that have become infected. Instead, we might suggest undergoing root canal therapy so we can successfully remove the infection and restore your tooth’s health and integrity.
Before tooth decay gets that bad
Before tooth decay gets so bad as to infect your tooth’s internal structures, it begins as a much less invasive condition known as enamel erosion. This is when the enamel that surrounds your teeth and protects them from harmful oral bacteria is made weaker and weaker by the substances these bacteria produce (such as acids). Preventing tooth decay is a race to prevent enamel erosion from outpacing your teeth’s ability to fortify its enamel. When your tooth loses, the bacteria can get past the compromised barrier and begin decaying your tooth structure.
Now that it’s so serious
In the time between enamel erosion and severe, internal tooth decay, there is often enough time to treat decay and stop the cavity from growing with a tooth-colored filling. However, decay can spread more rapidly than you expect, and if you ignore your toothache or hesitate to get a filling, the decay can have a chance to reach your tooth’s inner chamber, or pulp, and its root canal. When this area of your tooth becomes infected, the symptoms of your decay and the threat to your oral health become exponentially more serious.
If you wait much longer to treat it
Now that your tooth needs root canal therapy, the decay behind the need is serious enough that you shouldn’t wait any longer. The root canal that extends from your tooth’s pulp to your jawbone can allow the bacteria and infection in your tooth to threaten more than just the tooth’s structure. In extreme cases, the tooth might need to be extracted completely in order to preserve the rest of your oral health and prevent a more significant oral health event.
Save your tooth with root canal therapy
Tooth decay can become a significant threat when it’s allowed to get serious enough, and root canal therapy could be the only way to save your tooth. To learn more, schedule an appointment with us by calling Allen & Neumann Family Dentistry in Pella, IA, today at (641) 628-1121.