Cavities are one of the most common dental problems that people face. This early stage of tooth decay will affect many of us during our lives, and a dentist can treat the issue with a dental filling fairly easily.
However, you will need to seek treatment for tooth decay promptly or the cavity will worsen. Cavities do not go away on their own and, in fact, will spread without urgent intervention from a dentist.
You can feel more encouraged to receive the treatment you need if you know more about the risks of untreated tooth decay. Read on to learn details about the importance of treating cavities in a timely fashion.
How Do Cavities Develop?
Tooth decay develops when the natural bacteria in your mouth penetrate a weak spot in your enamel, the outer layer of your tooth. Then bacteria eat away at the dental structure, and the resulting hole is known as a cavity.
To prevent cavities, you want to remove excess oral bacteria and keep your teeth strong enough to resist bacteria. Both of these can be accomplished when you practice good oral hygiene.
Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily gets rid of plaque and other residues that carry bacteria and allow it to spread easily through the mouth. It also scrubs away food particles that can erode your enamel as they begin to decay.
Make sure you complete thorough and consistent oral hygiene for optimal preventative dental care. To maximize benefits, attend routine teeth cleanings at your dentist’s office too.
What Happens If You Ignore a Cavity?
As mentioned, cavities require dental attention to treat. The dentist will drill away the decayed part of the enamel and fill the hole with composite resin. This dental filling will restore the structure of the tooth as well as provide a protective seal over this vulnerable area. Then you can avoid further damage to this tooth.
But if you do not seek cavity treatment promptly, decay will spread and deepen. Your dentist may need to drill more extensively to remove the damaged portion of the tooth. Then a filling might not be enough to restore the tooth’s health completely.
In this case, a dentist will need to use a dental crown to cover and preserve the entire surface of the tooth. This treatment of advanced tooth decay will take more time and dental intervention than typical fillings would.
If decay reaches the pulp of the tooth, you may be in danger of infection. The dentist might need to perform root canal therapy to fully restore the tooth’s health. In the event of an infection, typical treatment might not be enough, and they may need to extract the tooth.
Preserve as much of your natural tooth as you can by seeking treatment for a cavity right away. Ignoring this dental problem may put you in danger of serious oral health complications. Get an early diagnosis of tooth decay by scheduling regular dental check-ups.