Even if you brush and floss your teeth daily, you may over time develop a cavity. While it can be tempting to put off visiting your Boise dentist, it’s important to note that cavities don’t repair themselves. In fact, there is always a price to pay when it comes to procrastination since minor problems usually become bigger, more expensive ones in the long run.
Cavities (also known as tooth decay) typically start to develop before you even notice. Sticky bacterial plaque forms on your teeth, using the sugar in the food you eat to create acids that slowly eat away at your hard enamel. Without visiting your Boise dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings, the decay will eventually work its way through all the layers of your tooth.
Generally, you won’t feel any pain or sensitivity until a cavity breaks through the enamel into the dentin layer. Once the barrier has been broken, the dentin (made up of tiny nerve endings) then becomes irritated when exposed to cold or hot foods. You may also experience discomfort when chewing or if you get food trapped between your teeth.
If the decay is allowed to persist, it can spread quickly to the root. Once this happens, an infection can develop causing fevers, facial swelling and a bad taste in your mouth. Serious health problems can also develop if the infection then spreads into your jawbone or throughout your body.
If your Boise dentist detects a small, developing cavity, he may suggest how to repair the spot. However, once a cavity reaches the dentin, there is no choice but to treat it. Smaller cavities can be easily repaired with either a metal filling or tooth-colored resin filling. However, if your tooth is severely decayed and has lost the majority of its structure, your Boise dentist may need to repair it with a crown. A crown helps to strengthen and restore the shape and function of your tooth. Keep in mind though, a crown is usually more expensive than a simple filling. In a worst-case scenario, you may develop an abscessed tooth. Treatment options then become slim. Your Boise dentist may suggest a root canal treatment or an extraction at this point. That’s why it’s important not to wait when it comes to treating cavities.
Don’t wait before scheduling a dental cavity treatment. The longer you wait, the more expensive and painful the process will be. If you suspect you may be developing a cavity, visit your Boise dentist at the first sign of trouble. While it’s important to brush and floss your teeth daily, it’s as equally important to schedule regular cleanings and checkups.
Creative Commons Image Courtesy of Jeff Djevdet