Why You Should Not Wait To Treat A Cavity

Most people have had at least one cavity at some time in their lives, and if we don’t keep up on our oral hygiene, there's a good chance that we'll get a couple more as time goes by.

It’s true that cavities can be a great inconvenience, but it is of the utmost importance to get them treated immediately. Early treatment of cavities can help prevent long term damage to your teeth and is an essential part to maintaining a big, beautiful and healthy smile!

Cavities Are A Sign Of Tooth Decay

A cavity is a small hole that develops on your tooth when it begins to decay. Harmful bacteria is contained in the plaque that sticks to our teeth. This bacteria produces acid that eats away at our teeth and causes cavities if the plaque is not removed. If left untreated, the cavity can grow larger and cause permanent damage to the tooth.

Leaving cavities untreated is more common than you may think. Approximately 32 percent of adults have untreated cavities. Because cavities are so commonplace, some may think they can leave them untreated, either to save money or spare themselves a filling. It is important to remember, however, that a cavity is considered an infection that requires prompt treatment.

Cavities Will Continue To Grow If Left Untreated

A cavity will only get worse with time. Once harmful bacteria creates a cavity, it will continue to grow if not repaired with a filling. To better understand the damage a cavity can do to your tooth, let’s look at some tooth anatomy.

A tooth consists of three parts:
  • The hard and protective outer layer called the enamel
  • The middle layer called dentin
  • The inner layer called the pulp, which contains the tooth’s blood vessels and nerves

Tooth enamel is the first line of defense against cavity causing bacteria. If treatment of a cavity is postponed, the bacteria eventually gets through the enamel and enters into the layer of dentin, and eventually, the pulp.

If bacteria reaches the dental pulp, it can lead to a condition known as pulpitis, which is inflammation of the pulp. If treated quickly, it can be treated with a simple filling. If left untreated, more serious measures such as a root canal or tooth extraction may need to be taken.

Your health and comfort are our priority, Dr. Guerra and his staff are here for you. Let us help you maintain a cavity-free, beautiful smile! Call us to schedule an appointment at our North Palm Beach office: 561-844-6146.

Surprising Facts about Cavities

Cavities are caused by infectious germs

Did you know that cavities are caused by germs? What’s more surprising is that these cavity-causing germs are infectious. The germs can actually be spread via saliva by sharing food, utensils, or even kisses. If you’re pregnant, get any active decay treated before your baby is born.

Snacking too frequently can cause cavities

Are you ready for another surprise? The frequency of snacking or sipping, not just the type of snack or beverage, can contribute to cavities. High-carb or sweet foods and drinks actually feed the germs that cause decay. After eating, these germs make acid. The acid attacks the teeth for 20 minutes, actually destroying the tooth enamel, and leading to cavities.

Continually snacking, or sipping sweetened juices, sodas, etc., throughout the day causes your teeth to being exposed to a constant acid attack. If you have a snack, eat it at once rather than a bite “here and there” throughout the day.