What Happens if I Leave a Cavity Untreated?

Drs. Gary and Ashley McDowell are the two dental providers at McDowell Dental Group in Abington, PA, who are committed to helping you maintain a healthy smile and reduce your risk of issues such as gum disease and tooth decay. Cavities are a common dental issue but can be avoided with proper care. Once diagnosed, patients should speak to their dental professionals about treatment options.

What Is a Cavity?

A cavity is a hole caused by decay in the hard surfaces of the teeth. Cavities are also called dental caries or tooth decay. They are caused by bacteria that produce acid and break down the enamel of the teeth, leading to the formation of holes. These holes allow for bacteria to enter the tooth, which in turn can result in infection.

What Happens if I Leave a Cavity Untreated?

By not following a dentist’s recommendations to treat a cavity, patients are putting their smile at significant risk of other dental problems:

  • An untreated cavity can become infected, leading to pain and possible tooth loss.
  • An infection caused by an untreated area of decay can also spread to other parts of the body, causing serious health problems.
  • An untreated cavity may cause damage to the teeth around it due to the bacteria in plaque eating away at the enamel. This could lead to further decay and a need for more extensive dental work down the road.
  • An untreated cavity may become large enough to require patients to have a tooth extracted or perform expensive procedures such as root canal therapy in an attempt to save a tooth.

Therefore, it is best to take care of cavities as soon as they are diagnosed in order to prevent any further damage or complications.

Schedule an Appointment if You Suspect You Have Tooth Decay Present in Your Smile

Leaving a cavity untreated can cause serious consequences such as pain and tooth loss, as well as additional oral health problems like damage to surrounding teeth or even serious infections that could spread throughout the body. To avoid these issues, it is best to consult with a dentist regularly and follow any treatment recommendations made during your dental appointment. Drs. Gary and Ashley McDowell of McDowell Dental Group serve patients in the community of Abington, PA, and can help you decide when specific treatments, such as fillings, should be considered. Call 215-885-0555 to schedule an appointment.

Posted in: Cleanings & Prevention, General Dentistry

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