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The Untold Dangers of Tooth Decay

Posted in Dental Care

3 minute read

Tooth decay is something that most of us experience — to a lesser or greater degree — at some point in our lives. 

If you are experiencing pain in a tooth, it may indicate a cavity — and you should visit a dentist as soon as possible.

Illustration demonstrating the stages of a cavity

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay occurs when food particles and bacteria build up in the mouth, attaching to the tooth’s enamel as plaque. Over time, plaque converts to acid, which corrodes the tooth. Some people are predisposed to tooth decay, or it can happen due to poor dental hygiene.

What Are the Top Dangers to Your Health From Tooth Decay?

Dental decay and cavities may seem like minor issues with little urgency, but they can have big impacts on your health if ignored for too long. Here are a few of the more serious risks from unattended dental decay:

  • Bone loss may result when decay continues below the gum line or in deep cavities in your molars. Combined with the natural bone diminishment that occurs with aging, this can cause problems if you should require implants or other orthodontic treatment in the future.
  • Gum recession can be accelerated by tooth decay that goes untreated. This may increase the odds of serious periodontal disease.
  • Studies at Harvard Medical School have shown that tooth decay is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
  • The pain that results from tooth decay can impact the quality of life, and if intense, can make you miserable and prone to poor nutrition and insomnia.
  • In rare and extreme cases, death may occur from complications from tooth decay, such as serious infection that enters the bloodstream or septic shock.

How Can Tooth Decay Be Avoided?

Good oral hygiene can go a long way towards limiting dental decay, but even flossing and brushing regularly doesn’t always eliminate cavities entirely. 

The thorough examination that happens in conjunction with bi-yearly cleaning and scaling, and x-rays to detect hidden decay, is essential to keeping you healthy. Cavities can then be filled, or if decay is extreme, the tooth can be extracted. 

Caught early and filled, dental decay doesn’t have to be a serious health risk.

Don’t Let Tooth Decay Worsen! Schedule a Consultation With Dr. Sands Today

If you are in the Beverly Hills, California, area and would like to know more about how dental care can improve your life, give the friendly team at Kevin B. Sands Cosmetic Dentistry a call. They can answer all your questions about regular, emergency, and cosmetic dental care and schedule a consultation with a qualified dental specialist. Call 310-273-0111 or use the online contact form today.