The Tooth Timeline: How Fast Do Things Go Bad?
If you’ve ever had a cavity you know how surprising they can be: one day you have a healthy smile and the next it’s toothache town and a one-way trip to the (tooth)filling station! If you’ve been the victim of a sudden cavity you might be wondering where it came from and how long it’s been there.
Cavities, along with gum disease, are the two most common dental ailments in the world. Most everyone will end up with a cavity at some point in their lives, and gum disease is almost just as common. A lot of the patients we see at Overmeyer Family Dental want to know how quickly both of these conditions develop and how each stage works. It’s tough to give an accurate timetable but we’re going to help you understand both conditions today!
The Origins Of Oral Decay And Disease
It starts with something we all have: oral bacteria. The average person actually has over 300 different strains living in their mouths, and not all of them are harmless. Many of those strains have the ability to metabolize sugar into acid that wears away enamel.
That same bacteria is always looking for places to hide that your toothbrush can’t reach. One of the best places for it to hide is below your gumline, and it will frequently try to make its way there where it can grown and spread unchecked.
It takes a long time for cavities and gum disease to become serious. That’s why we only need to see you twice a year: it’s plenty of time to identify and treat both conditions before they have a chance to become serious.
Cavities form over the course of several years. The process isn’t a simple eating away of your teeth: plaque acids act more like water against a rock: over time they’ll erode a channel that goes deeper and deeper, eventually reaching the interior of your teeth. Once they get deep they tend to keep getting deeper because bacteria and acid have nowhere else to go except for further in!
Gum disease is a slowly progressing condition as well, but the rate of progression largely depends on your oral health care habits. Gum disease starts off as a condition called gingivitis, which is mostly treatable by good brushing, flossing, and a dental cleaning. You’ll usually notice symptoms like inflamed gums, bleeding when brushing, and minor sensitivity.
How Decay And Disease Become Worse
Both of these conditions become worse due to one cause: inaction. You may not even know you’re suffering from gum disease or tooth decay but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be seeing you in order to prevent those conditions from happening or becoming worse!
The key to maintaining a healthy mouth is to constantly fight the bacteria and foods that cause problems. It’s always a risk you need to be aware of, and home care is never enough! We should always be seeing you for regular exams and cleanings to keep your mouth in peak condition.
We Can Help Treat Cavities And Gum Disease
From our tooth-colored fillings to our treatments for gum disease we’re able to help stop the damage and even reverse course to save your mouth. While preventive care is always the best choice for ensuring you don’t end up with a serious problem it doesn’t mean we can’t intervene to treat you once problems have begun!
Don’t let your smile fall apart because you didn’t act to treat minor problems and maintain your health. We want to help you live better at our Orlando dentist office! To make an appointment for preventive care or any other service we offer just call today at (407) 871-3143. You can also request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!