With all of the sugary products and junk food on the market, it’s easy for anyone to get a cavity. Getting a cavity every once in awhile isn’t alarming. And even if you don’t indulge in sweets, some people are just genetically prone to getting cavities.
But too many people procrastinate on making that filling appointment, let alone procrastinate going to the dentist in general.
Regardless of how you get them, it’s important to get your cavities filled as soon as your dentist diagnoses it. Here are a few reasons why it’s important to not procrastinate on getting your cavities filled.
Food Can Get Stuck in Your Cavities
It’s gross, but it’s true. When you eat food with a cavity, what you eat can get stuck in your teeth. This is especially common when you eat sticky foods.
If you’re still eating sugary foods when you have a cavity, the cavity can get even worse. When sugar is combined with bad bacteria, it breaks down enamel causing the hole to get even larger.
Having a cavity is bad enough; no one wants to make the situation worse.
You Can Get a Toothache
A classic toothache: it's not always severe, but it's one of the most painful experiences you'll ever face. And often, a toothache is the first sign your cavity is getting really bad.
The pain is caused by the bacteria that get into your tooth from the cavity. Fortunately, when the cavity is filled, and the bacteria are killed off, the pain will go away.
The Cavity Will Just Get Worse
When you get a cavity, it doesn’t go away on its own. Left untreated, the cavity will just continue to get worse.
When you first get a cavity, the hole is tiny and often painless. There’s a good chance you don’t even notice the cavity until the dentist finds it. But the moment your dentist informs you that you have a cavity, immediately schedule an appointment.
If you let your cavity sit without treatment, the repercussions can be as minuscule as a toothache or as severe as an abscess or tooth loss.
Kill the Bacteria in Your Mouth
When you go for a cavity filling, the dentist is doing more than filling up a hole in your tooth. They are drilling in your tooth to remove all of the bacteria.
For very severe cavities, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help kill the bacteria in your mouth and prevent further infections. They may also flush out the tooth to kill off the bacteria before the filling. Dentists do this to prevent an abscess forming.
You Can Lose Your Tooth
Let’s say you got a cavity, and you never went to the dentist. As the cavity grows worse, the once minor cavity completely decays the tooth, and more work will be required to restore the tooth.
As the cavity sits, more acid will break down tooth enamel and cause the hole to get bigger. The more plaque builds, the more difficult it becomes for your gums and bones to hold that tooth in place. This is how tooth decay forces your teeth to fall out.
You Can Get an Abscessed Tooth
Possibly one of the most painful experiences you may ever go through will be an abscessed tooth. Caused by severe tooth decay, an abscess occurs when pus and bacteria from inside of the tooth. Abscesses are most commonly caused by an untreated cavity, but you can also get them from a dental injury or gum disease.
The center of the tooth, the pulp, is the first to receive the damage. When this occurs, you’ll usually feel hot and cold sensitivity. As the infection spreads, it can go to your gums and bones. The infection will hit your nerves, causing intense pain. At this stage, the only way to rid yourself of the infection is by getting a root canal.
In some instances, your family dentist will need to refer you to an endodontist. If you show symptoms of an abscessed tooth, it’s always good to discuss the details with your dentist and to receive advice.
Don’t Forget to Replace Your Filling
While a filling fixes your cavity and prevents tooth decay, your fillings aren’t permanent. Years of eating, drinking, smoking, and other habits such as grinding your teeth will cause your filling to become weak.
If your filling starts to breakdown it is a good idea to have it replaced. If your filling falls out and the cavity stays open, the infection will come back. It may even be worse than the infection you had before.
Your dentist will usually recommend getting a filling replaced if signs of breakdown occur and will check your fillings during your annual check-ups.
The best way to prevent tooth decay and cavities is to have great dental hygiene, especially outside of the dentist’s office.
Brush your teeth twice a day, in the morning and before you go to bed. Use toothpaste that protects against cavities or has a high amount of fluoride. To truly prevent cavities, your dentist can prescribe high-fluoride toothpaste. Rinsing with mouthwash kills any excess bacteria that are in your mouth.
Be careful about what you eat or drink. If you consume a lot of sugar, it will weaken your tooth enamel. Don’t smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco.
Having a mouth with little bacteria and plaque is the best defense against cavities.
Book That Appointment and Get Your Cavities Filled
The best thing to do when you find out you have a cavity is to get it filled immediately. It is commonly thought that getting a root canal is an unpleasant procedure, but at Magnolia Dental we strive to see that you are comfortable. When you procrastinate on getting your cavities filled, severe complications will occur. Getting a cavity filled comes with little pain, it doesn't take a long time, and it generally isn't very expensive. It's better to go through with the filling rather than suffer through bad consequences.
If you’re looking to book an appointment to have your cavity filled at Magnolia Dental in Greenville, South Carolina, contact Magnolia Dental today to schedule your appointment for a healthier smile.