Cavities, simply put, are holes in the teeth. They are structural damage to a tooth caused by tooth decay. Tooth decay starts when the protein in our saliva combines with carbohydrates and sugars from food particles left on and between our teeth. This creates plaque which bacteria love! The plaque then produces acid which eats away at the natural enamel of our teeth. The enamel is a hard shell protecting our teeth. Once the enamel is eaten away, and there is a hole, a cavity will form very quickly. This occurs in the softer dentin located under the enamel.
Fixing a Cavity
Sometimes cavities can be taken care of with fillings, if they are caught in time. Other times, larger cavities will require an inlay or an only or even a crown.
What Happens if a Cavity Goes Untreated?
You’re seriously asking for an infection if you don’t treat a cavity because the decay will spread. If it spreads deeply it can reach the pulp and will cause an abscess. At that point, the only remedies are a root canal treatment or an extraction if the infection is extremely severe.
Keep up with your semi-annual cleanings so you can prevent cavities and keep your teeth bright and your smile shining! Call us now at (815) 741-1700 to get your appointment scheduled.