When it comes to cavity detection and prevention, earlier is always better. A cavity that is identified early in its development can be stopped before damage reaches beyond your enamel. If a cavity penetrates your enamel and dentin, it can affect your pulp, and threaten the health of the living tissue at the center of your tooth. When you practice good oral health habits – as in brushing and flossing regularly at home, and scheduling regular checkups with your dentist – you can significantly lower your odds of developing an advanced cavity.
Will Your Tooth Need A Filling, Or A Crown?
A cavity forms when the bacteria in your mouth have caused erosion in the enamel of a tooth. At its earliest stages, it may not cause pain, but it is detectable by your dentist. If that erosion never proceeds past your enamel, your dentist should be able to treat the cavity by removing the damaged area of the tooth, and restore the lost material with a filling. If a cavity is left untreated, the cavity can reach your pulp. If bacteria is able to access your pulp, and a root canal is required, you can lose too much of your tooth to benefit from a filling. A dental crown can restore a tooth when it has suffered significant damage.
A Cavity Can Kill Your Tooth
If a cavity enters your pulp, you can develop an infection in the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels. It is important to remove the infection as quickly as possible, as this can cause considerable discomfort. If left untreated, the living tissue can become irreversibly damaged, and lead to the loss of your tooth.