Tooth Decay Under Bridge- Causes, Symptoms And treatment

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Tooth decay under a bridge is a common problem that can arise when a dental bridge is not properly maintained. When bacteria build up on the surface of the bridge, it can cause tooth decay to develop underneath. Some of the most common causes of tooth decay under a bridge include poor oral hygiene, insufficient dental care, and aging of the bridge. Symptoms of tooth decay under a bridge may include tooth sensitivity, pain when biting or chewing, or a visible cavity in the affected tooth. In this article, we will explore the causes and symptoms of tooth decay under a bridge and provide tips for preventing and treating this condition.

Dental bridge along with dentures, implants, and crowns is one of the most popular treatment option. Though, it is a permanent option to restore function and appearance, you can not eliminate the chances of tooth decay under your bridge.

It is not the bridge that gets infected but the tooth under the bridge can get infected.
A loose or ill fitted Bridge has a gap in between tooth and bridge due to which tiny food particles can get stuck in between and can lead to tooth decay. Also, dental bridges have a lifespan of around 10 to 15 years. Sometimes, after that time period cement holding the bridge in place may get cracks and that can invite the bacteria to enter in it and infect the underlying teeth.
In this article, we will discuss about symptoms of ill fitting dental bridge, it’s causes, treatment and precautionary measures.

causes of tooth decay under bridge

4 main causes of infection under bridge are-

  1. Ill fitting dental bridge– Your dental bridge should be fitted properly and should be very comfortable and in complete harmony with your mouth, tongue, teeth and cheeks. If your dental bridge is loose, food can be easily entrapped underneath the bridge. It can not be easily removed by brushing. Due to entrapment of food below the dental bridge decaying of the food gets started. Ultimately, it will lead to decay and infection of teeth under the bridge.
  2. Poor oral hygiene– For long-lasting dental bridges, proper care is very important otherwise your abutment teeth will decay. Two times brushing and one time floss is a must under the dental bridge. As the bridges are joined as one unit, cleaning in between them is not possible with dental floss. In that case, an interdental brush or waterpik can be used. You should learn the proper technique of brushing and flossing under the pontic from your dentist.
  3. Gum disease- An infection may result from pre-existing gum disease, which is characterized by gum inflammation and infection, spreading to the region surrounding the dental bridge. So, it’s important to resolve any gum infection or periodontal breakdown before starting the dental bridge procedure.
  4. Trauma- The risk of infection increases by any trauma or physical injury to the dental bridge or nearby teeth, which can leave gaps for germs to enter. These reasons highlight how crucial it is to keep your gums healthy, practice good oral hygiene, and make sure your bridge fits properly in order to lower your chance of developing dental bridge infections. Frequent dental exams can aid in the identification and prevention of such problems.

Tooth decay under bridge symptoms or dental bridge infection symptoms

The common symptoms associated with tooth decay under bridge-

    • 1. Sensitivity: An increased sensitivity to hot or cold or sweet.

    • 2. Pain: There can be continuous or dull pain or sharp shooting pain in teeth under the bridge.

  • 3. Discoloration: There can be brown or black spotting around the teeth below the bridge
  • 4. Altered taste and smell: Bad breath and altered taste sensation can be there.

It is imperative that you seek immediate dental care to diagnose and treat the condition if you encounter any of these symptoms. If dental bridge infections are not addressed, they may progress to more serious issues and have an impact on your general oral health.

treatment for tooth infection under bridge

There are various treatment options for dental bridge infections depending on the severity of tooth infection

  1. Medications- If the infection is temporary and have not reached to pulp, it can be resolved by pain killer and antibiotics. But, if the infection already reached to pulp along with medication proper intervention is also required.
  2. Root canal treatment– If the infection is deep and non manageable by medications, the only option is root canal treatment. In this procedure, infected part of the tooth is removed and filled with material.
  3. Dental extraction- If the infection can not be managed even by RCT, last option is to remove the tooth under bridge and refabricate the bridge or opt for another prosthetic option like dental implants.

How to prevent tooth decay under bridge

-Continue practicing good oral hygiene. Frequent brushing and flossing are necessary to get rid of food particles and plaque accumulation that can lead to infection; specially to the area surrounding the bridge.

-Regular dental checkups are must to prevent dental decay.

– Eat a balanced diet and limit their sugar intake.

Seeking treatment and adhering to recommended aftercare routines can be crucial in preventing infections from developing in cases of pre-existing gum disease.


Who is the Writer?

Dr. Kirti Parashar is a licensed prosthodontist with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery and a Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) in Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge from Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma University of Health Sciences, Rohtak, India. She is a consultant prosthodontist and passionate about using the latest dental technologies and techniques to provide her patients with the best possible care.