It’s always a little unnerving to hear that you have a cavity, especially if you generally take good care of your teeth. Since cavities develop below the surface, it’s hard to notice if you ever even had one at all prior to visiting your dentist. While a filling is the best way to take care of the problem, what happens if you just don’t do anything about it at all?
Why Cavities Develop
A cavity is a source of tooth decay. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth twice a day, you’re allowing bacteria on the surface of your teeth to multiply. When these bacteria consume sugars and starches left behind on your teeth, they release acid that destroys the enamel on your teeth. A cavity forms when acid eats away at the enamel inside, rather than on the very surface of, your teeth.
The best way to treat a cavity is with a filling. Your dentist will clear the decay from your tooth and fill the area with a material to prevent further decay. In the past, dentists used metals like gold, silver, mercury, and zinc to fill teeth, which can be easily detected if you smile. Today, there are more natural-looking fillings made of resin or porcelain so that they are virtually unnoticeable!
What Happens If I Leave a Cavity Untreated?
If you decide to leave a cavity untreated, here is what you can expect:
- Tooth Sensitivity — Your tooth will feel sensitive to heat and cold exposure, making it difficult to eat and drink your favorite foods.
- Tooth Pain — Not only will your tooth become more sensitive, but the act of chewing or even talking will become increasingly painful. You will likely feel radiating pain whenever you talk or eat.
- Tooth Decay — As the bacteria and decay grows down to the root, you may need a root canal or even a tooth extraction in the future. If you do require an extraction, you will have to consider ways to replace your tooth.
Prevention is always better than cure, and that applies to cavities! Brush and floss diligently twice a day, limit your sugar and carb intake, and visit your dentist twice a year for thorough examinations. If you do need a filling, don’t worry. They are quick and can be completed in just one visit, so there’s no need to let a cavity go untreated. Doing so will mean that you will have go through more pain and money to find relief in the future!
From cavity prevention to cosmetic and restorative services, we at Mint Dental are here to help you have the smile of your dreams. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!