Has it ever happened to you that you woke up one morning with a sharp and unbearable pain in your tooth, and a trip to the dentist gave you the biggest shock? – That you need a root canal or extraction? 

But here’s what you need to know – the tooth does not need a root canal or extraction overnight, it progresses from a cavity, which, if ignored, can lead to this stage. Then how does a small cavity sabotage the tooth to this extent, here’s how! 

To simply put it, there are five stages of a cavity, and we are here to tell you all about it. 

  • Stage 1– In this stage, white spots appear, which is the first sign of tooth damage. While the spots are under enamel, they can be seen from outside. In this stage, the cavity can be stopped from progressing through a filling and following dental hygiene protocol can halt the erosion. Stage 1 is reversible. Regular dental checkups and a good dental hygiene protocol can reduce help you identify the cavity in this stage or stop it from happening in the first place. 
  • Stage 2–In this stage gradually the cavity which is under the enamel starts to bust through the surface. While this stage can’t be reversed, your tooth can be saved through dental treatment. 
  • Stage 3–In this stage, the decay reaches the dentin, which is a layer below the enamel. This stage is considered as an advanced cavity and irreversible. It can also cause pain. Your dentist will advise the best way forward considering multiple factors. 
  • Stage 4–Here is where things get tricky as the infection reaches the pulp where the nerves are located. This stage is irreversible and can be treated through a root canal, unless the tooth needs to be extracted. 
  • Stage 5–This is the final stage, and predictably the riskiest. In this stage, the decay (and infection) reaches the tip and affects the tissue and the bone around the tooth. Of course, it is very painful but importantly it can be fatal since this infection can spread to the other parts of the body.

Don’t worry, this is preventable! 

Regular dental health checkups and a dental hygiene routine are the best way to prevent a cavity in the first place. Moreover, these habits are easy to follow and include in your day-to-day routine. 

However, remember, if you feel any discomfort of pain, go to your dentist immediately. 

Get in touch 

Rosary Dental offers caring dentistry for our community, and we welcome patients of all ages and special needs. It is our goal to give every member of our community access to the care they need. If you have any questions regarding the dentist and services for a loved one with special needs, please contact us to learn more about how we can provide proper accommodations. To book an appointment with us, fill out this form. 

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