How Long Does It Take for Tooth Decay to Reach the Root?

A woman being treated for tooth decay at the dentist’s office Tooth decay is a common dental problem that occurs when bacteria in the mouth produce acids that erode the enamel. It can lead to cavities and potential damage to the underlying structures of the tooth. Severe tooth decay can also result in infection and inflammation of the dental pulp. 

In these cases, root canal treatment may be required to save the tooth. As Root Canal Awareness Week approaches (May 6-10), we need to understand the progression of tooth decay and its impact on oral health.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Various issues, such as inadequate fluoride exposure, recurrent use of acidic and sugary foods and beverages, and untreated cavities, can cause tooth decay.

When plaque builds up on the teeth, it produces acids that gradually wear down the enamel. It can create small holes or cavities. If left untreated, these cavities can penetrate deeper into the tooth, reaching the dental pulp, where the nerves and blood vessels are located.

How Long Does It Take for Tooth Decay to Reach the Root?

The time to reach the root depends on various factors, including the individual’s oral hygiene habits, diet, and the severity of the decay. 

In some cases, tooth decay can progress rapidly. It can reach the root within months, particularly if the cavity is located in a vulnerable area of the tooth, such as the chewing surface or between the teeth. However, tooth decay may progress more slowly in other cases, taking several years to reach the root.

If dental decay is not treated, you could experience harmful symptoms like dental pulp irritation and infection. It can also provoke swelling, abscess formation, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, and toothaches.

Once the decay reaches the root, the tooth may require root canal treatment to remove the infected pulp and save the tooth from extraction.

Book Your Dental Cleaning Treatment in Brentwood, TN 

Severe tooth decay can progress rapidly and reach the root within a relatively short period. If you are experiencing tooth decay symptoms or have concerns about your oral health, call us at 615.346.3007 and schedule an appointment with Tammy Kussman, DDS. Early detection and treatment of tooth decay can help prevent complications.

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