If you develop a cavity in your tooth, then the good news is that it can likely be treated conservatively with a tooth-colored filling. However, if you don’t treat the cavity as soon as possible, then it may have a chance to progress and lead to increasingly damage to your tooth and harm to your oral health. Today, we examine what a cavity is and what happens when it gets worse, along with why it’s important to stop the decay in your tooth as early as possible.
What a cavity means in your tooth
Cavities are common, but not everyone who develops one fully understands what it means for their tooth or oral health. The reason cavities are common is because they form from tooth decay, which is a product of oral bacteria infecting your tooth structure. The cavity that forms as a result of tooth decay is a hole in your tooth’s main structure, and this hole will grow increasingly larger as tooth decay becomes more severe. Most importantly, the tooth structure that’s lost as the cavity grows will be lost permanently, which is why treating a cavity as soon as possible is imperative to preserving your tooth and oral health.
What happens when it progresses
The earliest stages of cavity development aren’t as severe as its later stages, which is why some people may mistake their cavities as minor concerns. For example, their tooth might grow sensitive as oral bacteria erode the enamel around it, and the sensitivity can grow more intense as the cavity progresses. In addition to the feeling of sensitivity in your tooth, the damage to its structure and the harm caused to its structural integrity will also grow worse the more tooth decay progresses. In more severe cases of tooth decay, saving the tooth could require more extensive treatment to remove the tooth’s nerves and tissues from inside of its inner chamber.
Saving your tooth from decay
The most effective way to save a tooth that’s developed decay is to remove the decay. When treating a mild or moderate cavity, this can typically be accomplished by cleaning out the cavity to remove infected tooth structure and oral bacteria from within it. Then, your dentist can fill the cavity with a biocompatible, tooth-colored material to restore the tooth’s health, strength, and integrity. However, if your tooth decay and cavity get worse, then you may require root canal treatment to remove the infection from within the inner pulp chamber and root canal of the tooth.
Learn more about treating your cavity
Treating a cavity as soon as possible is the only way to stop it from getting worse. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Modern Smile in North Hollywood, CA, today at 818-763-9353. We also proudly serve patients who live in Burbank, Toluca Lake, and all surrounding communities.