What Is A Cavity, Really?
When you visit our office for an oral hygiene examination and cleaning, there are a few steps we take. We prefer to take X-rays of your teeth to look for problems that are not visible to the naked eye. We also thoroughly clean your teeth and check for other problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. One of the first questions we are asked following an oral hygiene examination and cleaning is if we found any cavities. Many people are aware of the term “cavity”, but do you really understand what it means and how it is caused? Read on to learn more about cavities and what can happen if they are not treated.
What is a Cavity?
When patients visit our office, they are always concerned about whether they have cavities. A cavity is what happens with dental decay. When plaque and bacteria build up, they turn into acid that begins to eat away at the surface of the tooth. A few different things that cause cavities, including not brushing your teeth correctly or thoroughly, not flossing, eating too much sugar, and snacking throughout the day.
What Happens If a Cavity Goes Untreated?
Problems like dental decay do not heal on their own without treatment. The issue will continue to progress until you receive treatment, experience a dental emergency, or, worst-case scenario, lose the tooth. When we first notice a cavity, we will recommend a filling to restore your oral health. If you do not get the treatment in a timely fashion, the cavity will continue to grow and spread from the tooth enamel, which is the outer part of the tooth, to the pulp inside the tooth. Delaying treatment can lead to the need for a dental crown, a root canal, or even a tooth extraction, if the tooth root is too damaged to be repaired.
If you need an oral hygiene examination, or we recommend a filling or other treatment that you need to schedule, be sure to contact our office, which is located in Spotswood, NJ. We want to help you have optimal oral health! See you soon!