Understanding the 5 Stages of Tooth Decay

Jun 01, 2019

Tooth decay is one of the most common causes of tooth pain. It’s easy to manage and treat with advancement in dentistry. Tooth decay can be reversed if it’s diagnosed in the early stages. Maintaining proper oral care routine and visiting the dental professional for regular checkups can help in combating tooth decay.

Stage One: White Spots

During the first stage, teeth begin to show signs of strains from the attack of sugar and acids. The build up of plaque begins on the teeth. White spots will start materializing below the surface of enamel. The build-up of these acids causes tooth enamel to deteriorate. At this stage, tooth decay might still be reversible with proper treatment and using right brushing technique, fluoride toothpaste, and applying topical fluoride treatment. Regular dental visits in D’Iberville, MS are also helpful.

Stage Two: Enamel Decay

At stage two, the enamel begins to break underneath the tooth’s surface. At this stage, there’s no scope of reversing the condition as the natural remineralisation process is unable to restore the proper enamel and minerals. This causes lesion to form within the tooth. Once the cavity breaks through the surface of the enamel, you need to see the dentist immediately.

Stage Three: Dentin Decay

Stage three is known as dentin decay which if left untreated, bacteria and acids will continue to dissolve the enamel and reach the dentin. If the cavity is left untreated beyond stage two, the pain will intensify. At this stage, a dental filling is needed for restoring the tooth and prevent the cavity from reaching the pulp.

Stage Four: Involvement of The Pulp

Once the cavity reaches the pulp, it will become very painful. Pus forms inside the tooth which kills the blood vessels and nerves in the tooth. At this stage, a root canal is needed to save the tooth.

Stage Five: Abscess Formation

It’s the final stage of the tooth decay and obviously most painful. Swelling will be common at this stage and root canal or tooth extraction will be recommended at this stage.