Cavities can affect nearly anyone, but fortunately, they can usually be treated with a minimally invasive treatment such as a tooth filling before they become severe. While dealing with a cavity may be simple at first, however, it doesn’t take long for the tooth decay behind it to grow worse, and for the cavity to grow larger as a result. Today, we explain why it’s important to fill a cavity in its early stages, and what treating your tooth could mean if you procrastinate.
What a cavity means for your tooth
The term, cavity, is the common way to describe the depression that forms in your tooth structure when it starts to decay. This depression results from the erosion of your natural tooth structure, which is caused by harmful oral bacteria infecting the tooth. In its mild and moderate stages, a cavity can usually be treated by cleaning away the oral bacteria and infected tooth structure, then filling the depression in your tooth with a biocompatible material, such as tooth-colored composite resin. The procedure restores your tooth in two ways; by removing the decay so it doesn’t progress, and by restoring the damaged part of your tooth structure.
How the cavity can get worse
When you don’t treat a cavity, it will continue to grow larger as the decay becomes more significant and erodes more of your tooth. Tooth decay is a progressive condition, and it only needs time to become much more severe. This means it will erode more of your tooth structure and potentially reach the inner structures of the tooth, including the pulp chamber and root canal where the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels are located. The only way to prevent this from occurring is to stop the cavity’s progression as soon as possible.
If you wait too long to fill it
When tooth decay is allowed to reach the inner chambers of your tooth, the danger to your tooth and oral health become much more significant. Unlike a milder cavity that only affects the tooth’s main crown structure, more severe tooth decay means that the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels have also become infected. To treat it, your dentist may suggest root canal therapy, which involves carefully accessing the tooth’s interior and removing the infection before sealing and restoring the tooth’s inner chambers.
Save your tooth with a custom filling
Cavities can progress quickly, which is why it’s important to treat them as early as possible. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Gentle Smiles in Dallas, TX, today at 972-329-7645 (972-329-SMILE).