Tooth decay causes damage to your teeth which can lead to cavities, dental abscesses, tooth loss, and even damage to your jaw. It is caused by harmful bacteria found in dental plaque. The bad bacteria in plaque can cause damage to your oral health and overall health. Below you will find more information on how tooth decay can affect your jaw and what you can do to ensure you keep your oral health in good shape.
Stages of Tooth Decay
While tooth decay will not affect your jaw immediately, it can if left untreated. There are multiple stages of the progression of tooth decay. Tooth decay begins impacting the outer layer of your teeth. This layer is referred to as “enamel” and is the hardest tissue in your body. Despite it being extremely strong, it can be impacted by plaque and bacteria. The dental plaque will essentially eat away at your enamel. As the enamel is weakened, you will likely develop cavities. Once your enamel has been penetrated, the second layer of your teeth can begin to decay. The second layer is referred to as “dentin.”
Can Tooth Decay Affect Your Jaw?
Once your dentin has been penetrated and damaged, tooth decay then impacts your tooth’s root. The root is also referred to as the “pulp” and it is the innermost layer of your tooth. The pulp contains nerves and blood vessels that can be damaged from tooth decay which can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. If your damaged pulp is left untreated, it can cause an abscess. An abscess is an infection that can cause severe pain and become lethal if left untreated.
Dental Abscesses and Your Jaw
Tooth decay can cause dental abscesses and jawbone infections. This occurs when tooth decay passes through each of the stages above without intervention. If your tooth decay has turned into an infection, you’ll need treatment right away. This is because the infection can impact your jaw bone which can cause major pain, redness, swelling, and pus drainage. It is important to seek immediate medical attention from your dentist as you will likely need a root canal, or even have your tooth completely removed.
Treatment for Advanced Tooth Decay
If your tooth decay has been left untreated and infected the pulp of your teeth, you’ll likely need a root canal. A root canal can restore your oral health and keep your natural tooth intact. The procedure involves drilling a small hole into your tooth to access your tooth’s root. The root of your tooth is completely cleaned out and disinfected. This is necessary to remove the bad bacteria and ensure that once it’s closed up, there is nothing harmful left behind. Once the root of your tooth is completely cleaned out, your dentist will use dental filling to close it up. The sealant protects your tooth from harmful bacteria getting inside once your root canal procedure is complete.
Tooth Decay Prevention
In order to prevent tooth decay, you’ll need to adhere to a consistent and healthy oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing at least twice a day for two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush. You should floss at least once a day, and if you only floss once, do it at night. In addition to your daily oral care routine, it is recommended that you visit the dentist at least every six months for a checkup. Talk with your dentist about how you can prevent tooth decay and ensure your daily oral care routine is right for you.
Endodontist in Beverly Hills
If you are concerned about your oral health and think you may have tooth decay or even a dental abscess, contact the team at Martin Endodontics. Their team is focused on putting you first and ensuring that you leave with a healthier smile. They are skilled in a variety of treatment options, including root canal treatment. Contact the best endodontist in Beverly Hills today for an appointment!