Bacteria are naturally present in your mouth, and when you fail to clean your teeth and gums adequately, the bacteria can build up over time. Eventually, the acid produced by bacteria will cause serious oral health issues. Those problems will compound over time the longer you wait to seek treatment. Dental infections — cavities and gum disease — are problems that need immediate attention from oral health professionals. If you are experiencing tooth pain, or you notice inflammation in your gums, make sure you schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Tooth Decay Is a Progressive Infection
The word “cavity” in a dental context actually refers to the hole that is left by bacterial activity. The process that creates a cavity is tooth decay. As bacteria grow, they produce a corrosive acid that will wear down the enamel of your teeth. Eventually, this acid will form a hole — a cavity. Without treatment, the cavity will get bigger and deeper as the bacterial activity continues. This is why tooth decay is considered a progressive condition. Until you seek treatment from your dentist, the problem will not go away.
Gum Disease Is Also an Infection
Just as bacteria can build up on the surfaces of your teeth, it can also aggregate beneath your gum line. Red, swollen gums are characteristic of gingivitis. This initial stage of gum disease can be treated and reversed with a deep cleaning that accesses the surfaces of your teeth beneath your gum line. If you don’t treat gingivitis quickly, it can develop into periodontitis — a condition that actually wears down the jawbone itself. This condition is irreversible and will lead to tooth loss.
Restorative Dentistry Repairs Damaged Teeth
Restorative dentistry is a branch of dentistry dedicated to rebuilding your teeth after they sustain damage. If you have a cavity, it can often be filled with a dental filling to repair the lost structure. This allows you to chew comfortably, and it protects the tooth against future infection. If the damage to your tooth is more severe, or you need root canal therapy to remove the infection, your dentist will likely use a dental crown to cover and protect the tooth. The degree of restorative treatment you need is dependent on the degree of damage that has been done.
COVID-19 Office Procedures
In light of the current public health situation, everyone is being asked to minimize their contact with others. As a dental office, we want to do all we can to keep our patients and staff safe during this time, while also providing necessary services to the public. We are taking extra sanitary precautions to keep our working environment clean, and we ask that our patients do the same. We are prioritizing dental issues that need immediate attention, and asking anyone who is experiencing any symptoms to stay home and reschedule their appointment. If you need to reach our office for any reason, you can contact Smith Family Dentistry in Greenville, TX at 903-455-5750.