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How Long Can You Leave A Cavity Untreated?

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A woman sitting on a grey couch with her hands on her face and a look of discomfort on her face.

Your oral health is an important part of your overall health, and it’s essential to maintain regular dental exams and cleanings with your dental professional. Building good dental health habits for the whole family goes a long way in preserving your smile. 

Routine oral assessments and cleanings help prevent cavities and other issues and ensure problems are addressed quickly when they do pop up. Speaking of cavities, let’s explore how long you can leave a cavity untreated, including how your dentist can help protect your oral health during your dental exam.

Getting to the Bottom of Cavities

A cavity is a small hole forms on the surface of a tooth. Cavities develop when sugars in food and the bacteria in our mouths collide, producing a mild acid that eats away at the outer layer of our teeth, called enamel. 

While cavities are more common during childhood, adults are susceptible too! Your enamel is an important protectant for your teeth, so anything that affects that outer layer of protection should be addressed by your dentist during your dental exam.

A young woman in the mirror holding dental floss on her hands and flossing her teeth.

Adults usually deal with 2 kinds of cavities:

  • Cavities that form around a filling, also known as recurrent cavities
  • Cavities that form on the roots of the teeth, also known as root cavities

How Long Should You Leave Your Cavity Untreated?

Brushing and flossing daily are essential habits for keeping your teeth healthy and clean. However, your teeth also need a more hands-on professional approach, especially when cavities develop. 

Don’t hesitate to visit your dentist for a comprehensive oral assessment and cleaning if you have any discomfort or pain in your teeth. 

Cavities should be treated as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your teeth. It’s especially important to bring your children in for regular dental exams, as cavities are common during childhood. 

Cavities don’t always require immediate treatment. This is because enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, so cavities can take months before causing significant damage to a tooth. 

Maintaining a consistent oral assessment schedule every 6 months helps your dentist monitor your cavity’s progression and the overall health of your teeth to recommend treatment when it’s needed. 

Setting your smile up for success is crucial, and it all starts with consistent visits to your dentist. 

What to Expect During Your Visit

Your visit to the dentist is more than just a routine check-up. Your dentist will offer personalized treatment plans for the whole family based on their unique dental needs. When you visit your dentist, you can expect a full oral health assessment that allows your dentist to: 

  • Check for cavities
  • Detect signs of bone loss caused by gum disease
  • Determine if you have impacted teeth that can cause issues down the road

An oral health assessment also allows your dentist to determine if you need other dental services, such as: 

Maintaining your dental health is a lifelong process, and stopping cavities in their tracks is part of this process. 

Early Detection & Treatment

Consistent dental check-ups with your dental professional allow you to stay on top of your oral health. Routine dental exams are an easy way to maintain your smile and prevent future stress and anxiety when it comes to your teeth.

Book an appointment at Hometown Dental today to get an early jump on treating cavities and protecting your oral health.

Written by Dr. JJ

Meet the leader of the Hometown Dental team — Dr. JJ!

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