What Happens If You Don't Get a Cavity Filled

What Happens If You Don’t Get a Cavity Filled? The Risks and Consequences

What Is a Cavity?

It is a small hole in the tooth that forms due to the decay process and is among the leading dental problems at Arizona Family Dentistry. Cavities are also known as dental caries.

Technically, the mouth contains good bacteria. When you eat food, the bacteria feed on the sugars and carbohydrates in the foods, producing acids as byproducts. These acids attack and erode the tooth’s outer layer, the enamel. Over time, the acid and bacteria weaken and break down the enamel, creating holes or tooth cavities.

If left untreated, there is room for the dental infection to worsen. The decay can spread deeper into the tooth, eventually reaching the pulp, the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. It is usually the cause of toothaches, often necessitating emergency dental care.

What Causes Dental Cavities?

Various factors can contribute to tooth decay. Usually, poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of all dental infections, including gum disease. Neglecting dental hygiene over time allows bacteria to accumulate on the teeth and gums, resulting in the decay process. Other factors include:

  1. Lack of or inadequate fluoride – although fluoride is present in diet and cleaning products, it may not be sufficient to strengthen tooth enamel.
  2. Certain medical conditions, such as dry mouth or acid reflux
  3. Overconsumption of foods and drinks that are high in sugar and carbohydrates
  4. Genetic factors affect the strength and structure of teeth and can make them more susceptible to cavities.

How Do Dental Fillings Treat Cavities?

A dentist near you will treat a tooth cavity with a Filling by first removing the decayed part of the tooth. The amount of tooth structure your dentist removes depends on the extent of the decay.

After prepping your tooth, the dentist will fill the space with dental filling material, such as composite resin, amalgam, or gold. Your dentist in Phoenix, AZ, will allow you full control over the type of material you choose for your filling. Your preferences should at least align with the underlying need so you can optimize functionality.

Must You Fill a Tooth Cavity?

Phoenix dentists recommend treating cavities as soon as possible. If left untreated, the cavity usually deepens, eventually causing more serious problems. Some consequences of untreated cavities are abscessed teeth, severe dental pain, and tooth loss. Further, the bacteria could spread to other body parts through the bloodstream, causing complications if the heart and lungs. Besides, you do not need costly dental issues in the future because of an advanced dental cavity.

However, no dentists in a dental office in Phoenix would force you into getting a dental filling. Instead, you can undergo other treatments like root canal therapy or tooth extractions. Usually, these treatments work best when the dental infection has spread and advanced, significantly damaging the tooth.

Common Risks of Untreated Dental Cavities

Untreated dental cavities will not be kind to your oral or general health. The longer you delay treatment, the costlier it will be. Even with great dental insurance, it will still be expensive to cover the costs of the complications of Untreated cavities. Some of the common risks are:

  1. Tooth sensitivity – the deeper a cavity grows, the more damage it causes. The infection reaches the nerves inside the tooth, causing pain and sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks.
  2. Tooth abscess – should the infection spread to the surrounding tissues, it results in a painful abscess featuring a pocket filled with pus and other fluids.
  3. Gum disease – the bacterial infection can easily reach the gum line, causing periodontal disease. The disease features other oral complications, like inflammation, bleeding, and eventually tooth loss.
  4. Bad breath – if you struggle with persistent bad breath, it could be due to the buildup of bacteria and food particles in the mouth and oral cavities.
  5. Systemic health issues, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes – usually when bacteria travel to your body through the bloodstream, it is no longer just your oral health at risk. At this point, you incur many systemic health problems that can even be life-threatening.
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