Cavities can impact the beautiful appearance of your smile as well as your oral health. Even if you brush your teeth diligently, there is still a chance that you may suffer from tooth decay. For this reason, it is important to schedule regular dental visits to your dentist. If you are concerned about tooth cavities and wonder how long a cavity can go untreated, you have come to the right place.

What Are Dental Cavities?

Before delving into further details, it is crucial to understand how a tooth cavity forms. A cavity is basically a small hole that develops in a tooth when the tooth enamel is compromised. The enamel serves to protect your teeth from bacteria and other harmful substances, but it can weaken over time. Plaque, high sugar intake, and poor oral hygiene can contribute to the formation of cavities.

Although they can occur at any age, children are more likely to suffer from cavities. In fact, many children lose their baby teeth prematurely due to this reason. It can also affect adults, causing tooth pain, difficulty eating, and other issues. Getting preventive dental care is the best way to avoid cavities.

What Happens If You Leave A Cavity Untreated For Too Long?

Leaving a tooth cavity untreated can cause multiple problems in the future, including tooth loss. If a cavity is left untreated for too long, you may experience:

  • Dull to severe pain in the affected tooth
  • Pain radiating to other parts of your mouth, jaw, or ear
  • Increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods
  • Difficulty in biting or chewing foods
  • Swelling in the gums
  • Tooth abscess
  • Food entrapment in the cavity

Along with causing these painful symptoms, cavities can also ruin your beautiful smile. Leaving them untreated can damage your teeth and may eventually necessitate tooth removal.

Can Cavities Go Away By Themselves?

Sadly, cavities do not disappear on their own. If they are left unattended, they may progress and threaten your overall oral health. That’s why it is important to visit a dentist as soon as you notice a cavity in one or more of your teeth. Whether it is small in size, addressing it early on can prevent it from worsening and prevent future dental issues.

How Are Cavities Treated?

Typically, your dentist will suggest dental fillings for restoring cavities. The type of filling material depends upon the size of the cavity, its location, and your aesthetic preferences. Common types of dental fillings include composite resin, glass ionomer cement, and amalgam.

If your tooth is grossly carious, a filling might not be sufficient to save it. In that case, your dentist may recommend a root canal or dental crown placement. A tooth that is too decayed to be saved by any treatment will have to be extracted to maintain your oral health.

To Sum Up

Instead of leaving a cavity untreated, it is important to get prompt dental care as early as possible. To learn more about cavity treatment and prevention, contact our dental specialists at Signature Smiles. Call us at (214) 307-4715 (Irving), (214) 307-4755 (Plano), or (469) 643-4155 (DeSoto) for an appointment.

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