Why You Should Have Cavities Filled Sooner Than Later

Filling cavities Jackson MI dentists

It can be fairly easy to delay items on your to-do list. Pushing something to the next day or even the day after doesn’t always have consequences in the grand scheme of things. Dental cavities, however, require attention from our Jackson, MI, dentists if you want to give your tooth a fighting chance before the decay worsens.

Here’s what you need to know about cavity symptoms and why tooth-colored fillings are beneficial.

Cavities: What Are They?

A cavity is a hole in the tooth that has been caused by tooth decay. Any individual, no matter their age, can develop cavities if proper oral hygiene habits are not practiced. For many patients, cavities occur due to a combination of foods consumed and inadequate teeth cleaning.

Despite cavities being a very common problem, they are preventable. At-home dental care paired with regular teeth cleanings every 6 months in our office will help you to avoid the formation of a cavity. Since cavities don’t always cause discomfort or make themselves obvious, it’s important to keep up with dental visits.

A cavity may manifest as:

  • Toothaches or out-of-the-blue tooth pain
  • Sensitive teeth that react to hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and beverages
  • Visible pits or holes in your teeth
  • Pain when biting down
  • Tooth stains that are brown, black, or white

For existing cavities, dental fillings remain the best option to seal the hole and prevent further damage.

What Happens When You Wait

It can seem like a good idea at first to play the waiting game with an early cavity but the longer you drag your feet, the more the tooth decay will progress. Once a cavity has developed, there is no way to “cure” it with brushing or flossing. It must be filled.

When the cavity is left untreated, it can move down into an inner layer of your tooth known as dentin. Dentin is located just underneath a tooth’s white outer enamel and contains many nerve endings. If a cavity has reached this layer, you will start to feel sensitivity when eating or drinking.

Delayed treatment can also lead to the decay reaching the nerve of your tooth. At this point, our dentists may recommend root canal therapy and the placement of a dental crown to protect the vulnerable tooth. Tooth extraction could also happen if the decay is severe enough.

How Your Appointment Will Go

The procedure for fillings is straightforward and relatively quick. Our dentists will start off by numbing the tooth and surrounding area with local anesthesia so you feel no discomfort. After the tooth has been numbed, the decay will be removed with the help of a dental drill.

The hole is then filled with tooth-colored composite resin that closely matches the shade of your natural enamel. The entire process, depending on how many cavities you have, will only take a few minutes. The treated area will remain numb for a few hours after the procedure but will subside. You can easily return to work or school following the appointment.

Cavity Advice: How to Avoid Them 

Good oral hygiene is key to preventing the formation of cavities. Our dentists encourage you to diligently brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. The use of mouthwash on top of those two actions also helps cut down on plaque.

Scheduling professional dental cleanings with our dentists is necessary as well. During these appointments, your teeth and gums can be checked for issues, like developing cavities. Keeping tabs on your oral health in and out of our office is important not just for your mouth, but the entire body.

Schedule a Checkup Visit

If you need your teeth looked at by our dentists in Jackson, MI, we’re here for you! While we are able to fill cavities when they occur, we would much rather keep tabs on your oral health so we can help you prevent them completely. Call The Dental Experience today at (517) 787-5367 to request an appointment.