Disregarding a toothache can put your oral health at risk. A cavity that is not removed from your tooth can infect your pulp, and can eventually spread to your jawbone through your tooth root. In contrast, when a cavity is identified and treated promptly, you can enjoy a less invasive restoration. Routine dental inspections give your dentist an opportunity to find problems that may not cause discomfort, and treat them before they become painful. These visits also help to rid your teeth of bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
A Cavity In Its Early Stages
When a cavity first forms, it only affects your enamel, the outermost tooth layer. While you might be able to see signs of a cavity at this stage, it may not cause discomfort. Because much of your tooth can be spared when your dentist treats a cavity that only sits on your enamel, you can likely restore it with a filling. As a cavity progresses, it will find its way to your dentin, which sits below the enamel, and eventually will access the living tissue in your pulp.
How A Cavity Can Kill Your Tooth
If a cavity reaches your pulp, an infection can harm the nerves and blood vessels that keep that tooth healthy. By destroying this material, a cavity will leave your tooth in an irreparable condition. At this point, a root canal is needed to remove the infection, and save your tooth. After treating a tooth with an advanced cavity, too much material may have been excised for that tooth to be sustained with a filling. A dental crown can salvage a tooth that has suffered advanced decay.