The process of removing decayed tooth material and replacing it with artificial material, called a dental filling, has been a successful way to fight against cavities for thousands of years. A cavity typically occurs when acid wears away the tooth structure and creates a hole in the enamel. Cavities are often painful, but they can…
What Can Happen If You Do Not Get a Dental Filling for a Cavity
A dental filling is the most common treatment method for dental cavities. It is a minimally invasive and safe procedure that produces reliable long-term results. Dental fillings are often recommended because there are risks to leaving dental cavities untreated, such as deep tooth decay and the potential loss of the tooth.
The risks of an untreated dental cavity
The most commonly reported complications of an untreated decayed tooth are deep tooth decay and symptoms such as increased sensitivity, prolonged tooth pain, and oral infection. Tooth loss can result if a cavity goes untreated for an extended amount of time and the root of the tooth is compromised.
Deep tooth decay
Deep tooth decay results when minor decay is left untreated. Minor cavities are known to capture food particles and bacteria, which contribute to a rapid rate of decay if the cavity is not filled. When deep tooth decay results, more extensive treatment is necessary, such as root canal therapy, which is more invasive and costly for the patient. Deep tooth decay can be prevented by treating cavities in their early stages.
Tooth sensitivity may also develop from an untreated dental cavity. Deep tooth decay can expose the tooth nerves and blood vessels in the root of the tooth. The sensitivity is at its worst when exposed to hot or cold substances, such as cold or hot weather conditions, hot beverages, and cold foods. The sensitivity is not likely to go away until the cavity is properly treated with a dental filling or root canal.
Prolonged tooth pain
Tooth pain can develop at the same time as sensitivity and due to the same reason, the exposure of the underlying layers of the tooth. An infection and/or an abscess can also develop, which can make the pain worsen. The pain is not likely to resolve itself, and a dental filling or alternative treatment procedure may be necessary after prolonged pain develops.
A tooth infection occurs when there is a build-up of bacteria, particularly when the bacteria accumulate near the root of the tooth due to the cavity. This can lead to the formation of an abscess. A tooth infection can be prevented by having a cavity filled soon after it develops.
The inevitable result of a cavity left untreated is the loss of the tooth. While people can prevent the cavity from worsening for a while, it eventually will compromise the root of the tooth, which leads to it becoming loose and not being able to remain in the socket.
Our dental office offers dental fillings for cavity treatment
If your tooth has a small to mid-sized cavity that does not extend toward the tooth’s root, we may recommend a dental filling to restore the health and function of the tooth. To learn more about dental fillings and other treatment options for cavities, schedule a consultation visit with our dental team.
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