Dental decay, or a cavity, is the bacterial infection of a tooth. When decay is small and limited to the enamel (outside layer) or dentin (second layer of tooth), it can be repaired by a filling or by an inlay or onlay, or crown if necessary. When the decay reaches the pulp (where the nerve and blood vessels are located), the pulp becomes infected and an abscess may develop at the edge of the root. A dental abscess often requires root canal treatment in addition to a crown on the tooth.
 
It is important to note that cavities and abscesses may develop slowly without causing any pain. Sometimes the infection gets trapped within the tissues with no way out, or if a live nerve of the tooth becomes exposed, it can cause swelling and a lot of pain. The best way to detect a cavity or an abscess is by undergoing a dental exam with x-rays. Catching tooth decay in its earliest stages will avoid more extensive treatment. #brittenperio #clearwaterperiodontist

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