Don’t Ignore a Toothache as It Will Only Get Worse

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It’s a new year and you want to improve your oral hygiene habits. You’ve begun to pay attention and brush your teeth every day.  Now you are wondering, are the black lines on my teeth decay? You brush them; however, they cannot be cleaned?   

This is hard to answer. It is recommended that you visit your favorite dentist at Providence Smile for an oral examination, including assessment for pigmentation and/or cavities.  

If it is stained, it is often caused by incomplete brushing and thus it is easy to deal with. A dental cleaning by our hygienist often removes the stain.   

As for tooth decay, your big molar teeth may decay without obvious cavities. Most of the black lines on the chewing surfaces of your back teeth (pits and fissures) are good indicators that you may have a cavity. Be proactive! Don’t wait until the tooth decays severely before you come in for a filling.   

These are the three main stages in the development of pit and fissure caries on back molar teeth.   

  1. Inadequate brushing causes tooth decay to initially form and black lines are formed on the surface of the teeth. This is the early stage of decay and is often contained in the enamel of your tooth. 
  2. The decay spreads to the inner layer of the tooth (dentin) and deepens. Your teeth may become hot and cold sensitive. This is the middle stage of tooth decay. 
  3. The cavities spread to the pulp of the tooth causing obvious pain. The cavity is larger, and the problem becomes more obvious. DO NOT WAIT FOR THIS TO HAPPEN. When this happens, we often cannot fix your tooth with just a filling.  At this time, a root canal treatment may be used to remove the decay, fix the nerve damage and keep the tooth as faithful as possible.  

When the tooth decay progresses to the end stage, the tooth cannot be saved, and an extraction becomes necessary to avoid infection.  

It’s a new year and a new you. Call our office in Durham, NC by calling 919-682-4861 to schedule your cleaning and examination. We look forward to helping you become your best self!