Tooth decay is still a common problem for people of all ages, but the cavities they form aren’t always as big of a threat as they used to be. That’s only true when cavities are treated with modern, personalized restorative treatment, which often takes the form of a customized tooth filling to restore a cavity-stricken tooth. However, while most common cavities can be successfully treated with tooth fillings, a cavity can get worse over time. If you hesitate too long to treat it, a filling might no longer be the appropriate solution for restoring your tooth.

How a cavity forms and progresses

When many people notice they have a cavity, it’s because the tooth that’s has decay has begun to feel sensitive or ache consistently. Before this occurs, a tooth starts to decay when oral bacteria produce acids and erode the enamel around their main structures. Oral bacteria for plaque to stick to your teeth’s surfaces, and from here, they can metabolize nutrients into harmful nutritional acids. These acids continuously attack tooth enamel, and can compromise it if they aren’t cleaned away consistently enough. This causes a hole to form that allows bacteria to infect the tooth’s main structure, causing tooth decay and the resulting cavity in its wake.

The time it takes for a cavity to get worse

Because of the enamel erosion that precedes the formation of a noticeable cavity, you may notice your tooth becoming sensitive before the cavity becomes noticeable. Yet, by the time you seek treatment for it, the cavity and tooth decay will be enough to require a filling to restore your tooth. The procedure involves cleaning away the decaying tooth structure in and around the cavity, then filling the hole in your tooth with a biocompatible material. The size of the filling depends on how much of your tooth structure the cavity has eroded, which will become larger over time.

Why it’s better to fill your cavity early

The best way to treat a cavity is to address it before it erodes a substantial amount of your tooth structure. Any part of your tooth that does decay will be permanently affected by it, and treating it early will minimize the amount of structure you lose. If you notice any sensitivity in your tooth, then it’s important to visit your dentist as soon as possible to determine if it’s a cavity, and if you can benefit from a tooth filling.

Treat your cavity early with a tooth filling

Most common cavities can be treated successfully with a conservative tooth filling, but it may not take long for the cavity to get worse if you wait to treat it. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Silver Smiles in Silver City, NM, today at (575) 534-3699.