When’s the Best Time to Treat a Cavity?

If you’ve had to deal with a cavity before, then the specific way in which you treated it depends on how severe your cavity was when you treated it. For example, if you treated the cavity in its mild or moderate stage, then the solution was likely a tooth filling, which helps restore your tooth by replacing any natural tooth structure you’ve lost to the cavity. In more severe cases, the structure and tissues that need to be restored are more significant, making your treatment for severe tooth decay more extensive than it would be for a mild cavity.

How a cavity develops

The reason prevention is the best way to protect your teeth from cavities is because once a cavity develops, it won’t go away on its own. Also, preventing decay is a less invasive process than addressing it, no matter what stage it’s allowed to progress to. Tooth decay, the condition that leads to a cavity forming in your tooth structure, involves the erosion of your tooth’s natural structure, and it’s caused by an excessive buildup of oral bacteria on your teeth’s surfaces. To prevent a cavity from forming, you simply have to prevent oral bacteria from successfully eroding the healthy, natural enamel around your teeth.

Before it has a chance to form

The key to preventing excess bacteria buildup on your teeth and the results of that buildup, including cavities, is to keep your teeth consistently clean of oral bacteria. Every day, these microbes accumulate into plaque that clings to your tooth enamel and along your gum line. Good dental hygiene practices, including brushing twice and flossing once every day, helps you control this buildup and remove harmful bacteria before they can start to erode your healthy teeth. However, it isn’t a guarantee, and if a cavity develops, then detecting and treating it early is the best way to save your tooth from it.

When it’s already started to develop

Cleaning your teeth at home every day is only part of a consistently good dental hygiene routine. The other side of the coin is the schedule of professional checkups and cleanings that your dentist recommends you stick to. Professional cleaning is the only way to remove the tartar that has calcified in spots where you miss plaque. If this tartar isn’t cleaned consistently (usually, at least once every six months), then the bacteria it harbors will have a greater chance at eroding your healthy tooth enamel and structure. If this occurs, then

Treat your cavity as soon as possible

Prevention is usually the best protection against a cavity, but if you develop one, then treating it as soon as possible can help you save your tooth. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Gentle Smiles in Dallas, TX, today at 972-329-7645 (972-329-SMILE).