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HOW CAN THE DENTIST IN SOUTH AUSTIN HELP SAVE MY TOOTH?

Posted by Jack Fan May 08, 2020

In a world full of soda machines, complimentary peppermints and other sugary foods, it can be easy to forget that these snacks can have a major effect on your oral health. After all, you can’t see any damage, so it’s fine, right? But tooth decay has a way of developing over time, and if it’s not treated, you could end up with a gap in your smile – or worse. Here’s what you need to know about damaged teeth and why it’s important for your dentist in South Austin to try and save them.

WHAT CAUSES TOOTH DECAY?

Your mouth is filled with bacteria. Some of them are harmless, but others feed off of the sugar you eat and secrete acids that can damage the enamel of your teeth. If left untreated, these acids will eventually create a cavity. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there; the cavity will give the bacteria access to the next layer (dentin), and eventually they’ll reach the pulp at the center of the tooth and cause an infection. The end result? You could lose the tooth.

WHY SHOULD I SAVE MY TEETH?

You might think it’ll be less costly to simply have an infected tooth pulled, but missing teeth can lead to serious health problems. A gap in your smile will cause the other teeth to shift, which can affect your ability to chew. Also, the loss of stimulation from your tooth can lead to bone loss in your jaw, causing it to weaken and change shape.

Additionally, the space from a missing tooth is a prime area for gum disease to develop since it’s harder to clean that area effectively. An infection in your gums can spread to your remaining teeth; in other words, if you lose one tooth due to decay, more could eventually follow.

HOW CAN MY DENTIST SAVE MY TOOTH?

Fortunately, when it comes to repairing damaged teeth, dentists have many options:

  • Crowns are caps that can be placed over a damaged tooth, restoring its strength and appearance.
  • If one or more teeth are already lost, a dental bridge (prosthetic teeth held in place by crowns on either side) can fill the gap and prevent teeth from shifting out of place.
  • Root canal therapy can save a tooth in cases where decay has already spread to the pulp. The infected tissue is removed, preventing damage from spreading further.
  • Bonding is the process of applying a tooth-colored resin to fill small cavities. This is a cost-effective option for when the decay isn’t too advanced yet.

The best treatment for a tooth affected by decay will usually depend on how much damage is already done; your dentist will explain your options and make a recommendation based on your situation. Of course, the best way to save a tooth is for it to not need saving in the first place, so keep up your daily oral hygiene routine and make sure to keep up those dental appointments twice a year!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Jack Fan enjoys being able to help patients with compassionate, efficient, and gentle dental care. He offers a wide range of restorative options – including root canal therapy, dental crowns, and fillings – for damaged teeth, as well as implants and bridges to replace missing teeth. To make an appointment at his practice, The Dental Centre, visit his website or call (512) 361-4288.

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