Have you been to the dentist for your biannual cleaning just to be told you have two cavities and need to come back to get them filled? Scheduling that next appointment to get them filled is worth it. Cavities can be permanently harmful to your teeth, so it’s important to get them filled.

What exactly are cavities?

Cavities are a product of tooth decay that has developed for a long time. Permanently damaged areas in the surface of the tooth develop into tiny holes in your tooth that are called cavities. These cavities, if left untreated, can develop into tooth pain, damage, infection, or even eventual tooth loss.

How can I prevent cavities from developing?

Cavities develop when there is a constant influx of snacking and sipping on sugary drinks. Decreasing your intake of sugar in your diet and ensuring that you are brushing 2-3 times a day will be your best plan of action. Talk to your dentist about other viable ways you can prevent future cavities.

What is my treatment plan if I have a cavity?

Typically, a dentist will determine an accurate treatment plan depending on the stage of the cavity. This may involve a root canal or a cavity filling. In rare severe cases, tooth extraction may be suggested.

Can cavities just go away on their own?

Depending on the stage of the cavity formation, enamel decay may be able to repair itself using certain minerals from saliva and fluoride. However, once it breaks through the upper enamel, only a filling can repair it.

What are the stages of cavity formation?

Stage 1: White Spots

As sugars attack the tooth, white stains appear.

Step 2: Enamel Decay

The enamel of the tooth is attacked. Once it has broken through, the decay can only be corrected by a filling from a dentist.

Stage 3: Dentin Decay 

Characterized by the beginning of some pain in the tooth, this stage involves the cavity beginning to eat away at the dentin below the enamel.

Stage 4: Involvement of the Pulp

A root canal is the only option for treatment, and intense pain is involved at this stage.

Stage 5: Abscess Formation 

This is when a tooth extraction may have to occur. There may be an infection involved, and the cavity will have reached the bone structure of the tooth.

Protect your teeth by attending your 6 month cleanings, and especially with your kids, ensure that they are getting the high quality teeth treatment they need to grow in healthy permanent teeth. Visit for more information.

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