Being the most common dental health issue means that cavities can affect nearly everyone at some point in their lives. If one develops in your tooth, the extent of treatment you need to fix it will depend on how soon you seek treatment for it. Today, we explain why by examining what having a cavity actually means for your tooth, and how severely the tooth decay behind it can progress if you allow it to.
What having a cavity means
A cavity, or depression in your tooth structure, can range from mild to severe, and its size indicates the extent of the tooth decay that caused it. Decay, or tooth infection, is caused by harmful oral bacteria infecting your tooth, which is only possible after the bacteria erode the protective enamel around it. When tooth decay develops, it can immediately begin to erode your tooth’s structure, causing a mild cavity to form. The erosion continues to affect your healthy tooth structure, causing the cavity to grow larger as time goes by. The pain in your tooth will also grow more severe the longer you wait to treat your cavity.
The progression of tooth decay
Like most other dental health issues, all tooth decay needs to progress is time. If given enough of it, the decay will reach the center chamber of your tooth, known as the pulp, and infect the tissues (nerves, blood vessels, and more) that run from the pulp through your tooth’s root canal. This progression may occur faster than you realize, and hesitating can increase your risks of needing more extensive treatment to restore your tooth. In severe cases, an extremely decayed tooth may need extraction to prevent it from causing more severe complications with your oral health.
Avoiding more extensive treatment
There are many good reasons to treat your tooth decay and cavity before the need for more extensive treatment arises. In addition to minimizing the treatment and time you need in your dentist’s chair, this also helps you preserve a maximum amount of your healthy tooth structure. This means your tooth will remain stronger following your treatment, reducing the risk of it becoming further damaged in the future.
Treat your cavity as soon as possible
If you have a cavity, then let us treat it as soon as possible to help you avoid the need for more extensive treatment later. To learn more, schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith and our team by calling Pecan Tree Dental in Grand Prairie, TX, today at (972) 262-5111.