If you have pain in your mouth, there's a decent chance it is due to one of your teeth. Very few Americans escape tooth decay in their lifetimes. While tooth decay is not rare, if it is not treated, tooth decay can eventually lead to tooth removal.
About Tooth Decay
When tooth decay happens, it is because the bacteria in your mouth create acids that can eat away at your tooth enamel over time. If tooth decay is caught early, a dentist can fix your tooth by drilling the cavity out and filling the tooth with composite so that the cavity can't return.
What happens if you don't get to the dentist right away? In the beginning, a cavity doesn't cause pain. If it isn't fixed, however, the cavity will continue to grow larger. Eventually, the acids in the bacteria will eat away at your enamel until it reaches the middle of your tooth, which is called the tooth pulp. While the enamel portion of your tooth is hard, the tooth pulp is soft and full of nerves and blood vessels. If the infection reaches the center of your tooth, your tooth may be very painful.
You need to know if your tooth infection continues to grow, you may need a root canal. When you have a root canal, the dentist will remove the infection from the center of your tooth and usually place a crown over your tooth to protect it. There are times when the infection is so severe the tooth can't be saved. When that happens, a dentist or periodontist can remove your tooth. Teeth can also be removed because of an infection from gum disease. When either tooth decay or gum disease causes you to have teeth extracted, know that you can get restorative surgery to have those teeth replaced through dental implants, bridges, or even dentures.