A cavity is simply a hole that occurs on a tooth. Cavities may occur on teeth for various reasons ranging from poor oral hygiene to the presence of an oral infection on the affected tooth. Because cavities often develop slowly and gradually, many people do not consider them a dental emergency. The truth is that they are.
They may not be the kind of emergency that makes you seek out emergency dental services in the middle of the night, but they are the kind of emergency that needs to be attended to without further delay. Here is why.
A Cavity Will Only Get Worse
Once a cavity has begun to develop on one of your teeth, there is no turning back, and you can only expect it to continue getting worse. The earlier you seek dental intervention, the better it will be for your dental health and for your pocket. A small cavity can easily be filled, and the cost of filling a tooth is quite affordable.
As cavities get bigger, however, regular filling does not suffice as a viable treatment option, and a root canal procedure is often advised. Root canal treatment is much more expensive than a regular filling. The longer you wait to have a cavity filled, the more likely it is that you will need root canal treatment.
Cavities Pose a Threat to Adjacent Teeth
Cavities are also a dental emergency because they pose a significant threat to the well-being of adjacent teeth. The presence of a cavity within the tooth structure creates sufficient space for food particles to get trapped inside the cavity. The presence of food particles attracts a variety of oral bacteria into the space created by the cavity. Because oral bacteria are not static, they can easily attack adjacent teeth that are otherwise healthy, thereby leading to more cavities and more serious dental problems.
In the event that a cavity is as a result of an oral infection, the chances of the infection spreading to adjacent teeth are very high.
Tooth Loss Is the End Result
As slow and as gradual as a cavity may seem, at the end of it all you will lose the affected tooth if you do not get proper dental care in good time. Tooth loss is another problem altogether, and you will either have to get dentures or dental implants to replace your missing teeth.
Cavities are a dental emergency that you should not ignore. Contact a dentist to learn more.