Five Things That Can Happen If a Cavity Is Left Untreated?

Five Things That Can Happen If a Cavity Is Left Untreated?

December 1, 2021

It is possible to leave a cavity untreated and allow it to remain in the mouth primarily because they do not cause symptoms in the early stages. However, if left untreated, the dental cavity can worsen your dental health and lead to more severe oral problems such as pain and swelling. As it advances, the decay can affect the nerves of the teeth and ligaments. At this point, a dentist may recommend a tooth extraction near you.

What Is a Cavity?

A cavity is a damaged part of the tooth characterized by tiny holes.

Bacteria and acid solutions are the primary cause of cavities. Bacteria from food particles trapped in the tooth’s crevices form a hard substance called plaque. The plaque becomes a resting place for bacteria and allows them to grow. This can create acid byproducts that attack tooth enamel, causing a cavity. Additionally, food particles left sitting in the area will continue to cause problems as they decompose and lead to the formation of an abscess.

What are the Stages of Cavity Progression?

It is important to know how a cavity forms and progress.

  • Demineralization. This is when the teeth are stripped out of vital minerals like calcium and phosphate. These minerals help to strengthen the enamel and make the teeth weaker and prone to bacterial attacks. Without using fluoride, the demineralization process will continue and increase the risk of decay.
  • Enamel decay
  • Dentin infection and pulp decay
  • Abscess formation
  • Tooth loss

What Happens if Cavity is Untreated?

Several dental situations can occur if the cavity is not treated on time.

  1. It leads to other infections

The longer you wait to fix a cavity, the bigger it will continue to grow. This can cause tooth pain, which is no fun. The cavity can also make your tooth weaker because of the loss of dentin in the center. Eventually, if it gets big enough, it will start eating away at the pulp in your tooth, which causes lots of problems like pain. As the cavity advances, it can affect the gums and cause an abscess.

A dental abscess is an infection of the tooth, jawbone, or gums. They can form on the outside of the tooth, below the gum line, or both.

Dental abscesses are caused by bacteria that infect the tissues around your teeth. These bacteria can enter your body through cracks in your teeth or between your teeth and gums. This infection leads to inflammation and pressure on surrounding tissues, causing swelling and pain. A tooth abscess is a dental emergency and requires immediate treatment to prevent the infection from spreading to the other parts.

  1. Nerve damage

Dental cavities can cause three stages of damage to the nerve: localized numbness, tingling or burning sensations, and loss of function.

Yes! We have nerves and blood vessels in our teeth. Cavities cause minor discomfort now, but if left untreated, the pain will slowly keep getting worse. It will start as a tinge of unease but will soon spread across your mouth without any relief.

The pain gradually increases because, as the cavity eats away at your tooth, the sensitive nerves inside it are exposed to air. As the cavity gets larger, the space inside your tooth widens, letting in more air into that area. Eventually, these exposed nerves will die- which is why you should take care of dental issues promptly.

  1. You, Will, Need Invasive Treatments

If the cavities are not filled on time, they create room for bacteria to multiply and advance to the pulp chamber. A pulp infection can be a source of pain and sensitivity. A dentist in Fort Lee can perform a root canal treatment to remove the infected pulp and save your teeth from extraction.

Root canals are procedures done on the roots to treat an infection or remove decay. They are performed when a tooth has become severely infected, causing pain and swelling around the gum line.

  1. Tooth extraction and jaw degradation

Severely damaged teeth need to be removed to preserve the remaining teeth and structure. Unfortunately, tooth removal leaves gaps in your teeth, which are unattractive. But, more than that, the missing teeth can cause the supporting bone to deteriorate and lead to jaw degradation.

  1. Expensive and time-consuming procedures

You will need restorative treatments like dental implants and bridges to restore the lost teeth and preserve your jaw.

Take Action

The good news is that you can avoid these dental issues with proper hygiene and regular visits to the dentist. Furthermore, dental cavities can be reversed if they are caught early.

Visit So Good Dental for more information about how to prevent cavities and other dental problems.