Although procedures such as a full smile makeover may include visits to any one of a number of skin clinics Manchester for anti-wrinkle treatments such as Restylane, it may also include more commonly known processes such as tooth decay treatment. In this article we’re going to concentrate on the latter and go into more detail about the types of tooth decay treatments available, and in particular how to prevent decay from occurring in the first place.
As a Cheadle Hulme dentist we’ve seen our fair share of tooth decay problems and unfortunately it’s a very common occurrence amongst patients. Yet surprisingly it’s totally preventable. So what causes it and how do you know when you have it?
In essence tooth decay is caused when acid (which itself is produced from plaque) builds up on your teeth. If it’s allowed to linger it leads to problems such as dental caries (small holes in the teeth), gum disease, or dental abscesses.
In general terms tooth decay doesn’t normally cause any pain although there may be distinctive signs that you have it. One such sign is bleeding gums. When teeth are brushed a person might discover traces of blood on their toothbrush or when they rinse. More often than not this is a sign that they have gingivitis – the early stages of gum disease. Patients may also experience grey/brown or black spots appearing on their teeth, an unpleasant taste in the mouth, or tooth sensitivity when eating or drinking hot or cold foods.
The good news
Tooth decay treatment is both cost-effective and quick if dealt with in the early stages. As a Cheadle Hulme dentist we recommend regular dental visits. A simple oral examination or X-ray can identify the early stages relatively quickly, and as a result it can be treated and eradicated in a matter of days, by applying a fluoride gel or paste to the area and scraping away the excess plaque using a specialised hygiene tool.
The bad news
When tooth decay takes hold it can undermine the gums that support the tooth causing painful abscesses. In addition it can also attack the tooth nerve leading up into the tooth itself. Either way it isn’t very pleasant and on some occasions pain can be excruciating. For a gum abscess, treatment normally involves lancing the area where the abscess has formed and draining the infection. The area is then cleaned out and the patient may be given a course of antibiotics.
Alternatively if the infection has got into the tooth nerve itself then the dentist has two options. Firstly they may look to perform root canal therapy. This is where a hole is drilled into the tooth, the infected tooth pulp is cleaned out, and the area is then refilled by enlarging the canals. This may be done over a series of visits. Our Cheadle Hulme dentist will then fill the canals with a resin known as gutta percha. Once filled the tooth is then sealed. Finally the tooth will need to be shaped so that a protective crown can be placed over the existing tooth.
The second option is to remove the tooth altogether and replace it with a restoration such as a partial denture, bridge, or a dental implant.
Preventing tooth decay
The simple and easiest way to avoid having tooth decay treatment is to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. This includes thorough and regular brushing and flossing combined with regular dental visits. Also by cutting down on sugary or starchy foods and drinks it will help to protect your teeth. You should be aware that certain medications contain sugar, so it’s often worth looking for sugar-free alternatives.
Finally – try to avoid smoking and excessive alcohol. Nicotine interferes with saliva production that helps to keep your teeth protected and alcohol can contribute towards the erosion of protective tooth enamel.
So there you have it – everything you need to know about tooth decay treatment and how you can prevent it from happening.
If you’d like to find out more about tooth decay treatment prior to a visit to one of many skin clinics Manchester as part of a full smile makeover – or as a stand alone treatment, then come and talk to our Cheadle Hulme dentist who can help. To make an appointment contact us directly on 0161 486 0743 or visit our website for more details.