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decay under bridge

Can you get Decay Under a Dental Bridge?


You may research effective solutions to restore your smile when you have a missing tooth. For example, a dental bridge is an effective treatment that improves your smile’s aesthetics and regenerates a stable biting surface. Our Lake Forest family dentists at Lake Forest Smiles explain that a dental bridge is a fabricated tooth suspended between two neighboring teeth that fill in the gap from a missing tooth. Therefore, a small space between the bridge and the gum line remains open and subjectable to bacteria and decay, especially since the area is challenging to clean. So, in today’s blog, we share how you can get decay under a dental bridge, signs or symptoms you may need medical attention, and how to fight decay.

How does decay form under a dental bridge?

A dental bridge is two crowns fused together with a pontic or artificial crown in the middle, bridging the cap between your teeth. So, since the middle tooth suspends between neighboring teeth, there is a space between the restoration and gumline where food debris and bacteria love to hide. Although you may brush and floss your teeth as directed, the area under the bridge can be challenging to clean, especially when you don’t know how or what hygiene items you need. Therefore, over time, bacteria continue to eat and reproduce. As they do, they secrete enamel-wearing acids and cause tooth enamel decay that supports the bridge. The best way to keep the area under your bridge clean is to brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. You could also use a water flosser to help blast away food particles and bacteria under the crown, although this shouldn’t replace daily flossing.

What symptoms indicate that I may have decay under my dental bridge?

As decay begins developing under your dental bridge, you may notice some symptoms like tooth sensitivity or pain. Our Lake Bluff family dentists explain that tooth sensitivity could indicate that deterioration has set in underneath your bridge. Decay occurs when plaque and food particles accumulate beneath the crown or along the bridge’s edge. As erosion eventually wears into the tooth pulp, it can make drinking or eating hot or cold foods and drinks uncomfortable. When an anchor tooth becomes unstable due to decay, it can jeopardize the bridge’s integrity and may result in a necessary replacement bridge. Also, because it’s more challenging to clean around the gums, you may notice inflammation and bad breath caused by the infection.

How can patients prevent decay?

Consuming refined sugar-heavy foods and beverages provides nourishment for the bacteria that live in the mouth. However, when you fuel bacteria, they secrete acids causing significant damage to tooth enamel, resulting in painful sensations and necessary dental treatments.

Fortunately, there are ways you can protect your smile when you follow the tips below:

  • Use mouthwash
  • Reduce soda, sugar and carbohydrate intake
  • Get regular dental exams and cleanings
  • Brush with fluoridated toothpaste twice daily
  • Rinse your mouth after eating to eliminate food particles
  • Clean between the teeth and under the dental bridge with floss

Our dentists can regularly monitor your oral health and catch early warning signs of decay or damage beneath your dental bridge. With early intervention, you can prevent advanced dental health conditions that take more time and money to correct. During your next appointment, feel free to request a demonstration that illustrates proper flossing techniques.

Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire Family Dentists

Decay underneath a dental bridge can result from multiple causes over a long period. While it may seem inevitable that you can get decay under your dental bridge, your daily at-home oral care routine, professional cleanings, and close oral health monitoring can drastically reduce the likelihood of severe conditions. Therefore, our Lincolnshire cosmetic dentists encourage you to maintain proper oral hygiene habits to keep your bridge in place for as long as possible and preserve your self-assurance. To find out more about dental bridge care or to schedule an appointment, please call Lake Forest Smiles at (847) 234-4800 or contact us online today.

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