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Back 26 April 2018

What Would Happen if You Never Treated a Cavity?

Dental cavities can be a hassle for busy people who are short of time. Although ignoring the pain and discomfort of tooth cavities isn’t advisable. The outcome for ignoring a decaying tooth or cavity can only be further deterioration. Here is a guide to learning what happens when you leave a cavity untreated.

Further deterioration and decay

Ignoring a cavity means that it will inevitably grow in size. Additionally, dental decay will make tooth structure brittle and prone to cracking and the bacterial infection (tooth decay) is likely to compromise surrounding teeth as well.  At an early stage dental decay would would most likely result in a tooth filling, which is generally successful and straightforward.  

Progression of dental decay

Severe nerve pain

A consequence of dental decay can be pain which can’t be conveniently ignored as a cavity progresses. The decay eventually reaches the nerve. At this stage, routine dental fillings won’t be enough to solve the problem. A solution would be either a root canal treatment or tooth extraction.

Bacterial infection

A bacterial infection may arise in the  jaw bone when bacteria destroy the pulp/nerve in the middle of the tooth.  This could lead to a change in the pain symptoms and sometimes swelling of the gum around the area. Also bacterial infection in the gum and bone can lead to systemic infections (ie infections and inflammatory damage eleswhere in the body like cardiovascular disease)

Serious illness and death

In the days before modern technology in western countries, serious illness and death as a result of a tooth cavity were more commonplace. Nowadays it’s rarer, but it’s still technically possible. Although this article isn’t an attempt to scare-monger it does aim to help people to consider real risks. The rule of thumb is that tooth cavities evolve and worsen quickly. The results to your health, wellbeing and wallet can be disastrous.

Staying on top of your dental hygiene

The good news is that to mitigate against the damage caused by cavities, you can make some regular routinised changes to your life. When practiced daily, these changes will keep cavities at bay.

  • Brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean in between your teeth daily with dental floss
  • Eat nutritious, balanced meals and avoid sugary snacks between meals.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for a general check-up. A regular oral examination will rule out the vast majority of problems. 

Having regular check-ups for cavities ensures that these horrible outcomes remain worst-case scenarios that only happen to other people. Speak with Milford Dentists about a broad variety of services we offer, including cosmetic dentistry, tooth whitening services, fillings, dental implants, orthodontics and braces. Our dental services cover the full spectrum of life-long care and our patients and their families are happy with our services.