Manage Your Dental Problems One Tip at a Time

What Happens When You Ignore A Cavity

Do you have a cavity? If so, you don't want to ignore the problem. When you leave your cavity untreated, there are a number of bad things that can occur. More important, many of the concerns have the potential to cause long-term problems. Make sure you protect your teeth and resolve any cavities with tooth fillings as soon as possible. 


A cavity, left untreated, will eventually lead to discomfort. Cavities typically start with a small hole. However, over time, the cavity will increase in size. As a result, the cavity may expose the nerves in the tooth. Additionally, if the hole is large enough, it might even make the tooth at risk for a fracture. Once the nerves are exposed, you will start to feel discomfort, especially when you are eating. 


When your teeth are healthy, you should be able to drink and eat hot or cold foods without little concern. However, when you have a cavity, the opposite is true. People with cavities typically have tooth sensitivity issues that make it uncomfortable to eat or drink hot and cold foods. Keep in mind that the sensitivity will only get worse. In fact, even if the food is only moderately cold or warm, you might discover that putting these foods in your mouth is uncomfortable. 


Remember that a cavity is basically a hole in your tooth. If you have a hole in your tooth, you create an easy pathway for bacteria to enter inside and eventually reach the pulp of your tooth. At this point, you may form an abscess, which is a form of severe infection. An abscess is incredibly painful and can lead to inflammation, which will also make the area around the cavity-ridden tooth uncomfortable. 

Tooth Loss

In the long term, an untreated cavity can lead to tooth loss. It's important to remember that cavities can permanently damage the structure of your tooth, and in reality, can kill your tooth. Once your tooth has sustained this level of damage, the only thing you can do is remove the tooth. If the damage is not too extensive, you may be able to have a root canal performed, but there is no guarantee you won't need to have the tooth removed in the future. 

Visit the dentist if you have a cavity concern. Your dental provider will discuss tooth filling or other treatment options with you to ensure your teeth are protected.