Are There Stages to Cavity Formation?

Regular trips to your dentist are the best way to prevent complex oral health issues from developing in your teeth and gums. Cavities are the most common oral health issue that patients face. Almost everyone experiences a cavity at some point in their lives. When addressed quickly, cavities aren’t a huge issue. If allowed to grow and worsen, cavities can eventually takeover and destroy a tooth. So, are there stages to cavity formation? What can you do to prevent cavities from ruining your teeth?

Are There Specific Stages of Cavity Formation?

This can be a tough topic to tackle, because cavities are formed by microscopic bacteria that you can’t readily see with the naked eye. That means that by the time your notice visual signs of cavity formation, you’ve already got a significant problem. Cavities are created by the metabolic activity of bacteria. Bacteria — naturally present in your mouth — stick to the surfaces of your teeth. Those bacteria consume food (the food you eat) to grow and create more bacteria. As a byproduct of this growth, the bacteria also produce acid that is corrosive to tooth enamel. Over time, the bacteria will create a hole in your tooth.

When You See a Cavity, Have it Treated as Soon as Possible

When you think of what a cavity looks like, it’s probably a dark spot on the surface of one of your teeth. That dark spot is an accumulation of bacteria. Before the bacteria populate to this point, you might not notice anything at all. You may notice the yellow buildup of plaque on teeth before a cavity develops. You need to clean this plaque away quickly. If you notice a fully-formed cavity, you should seek treatment from your dentist as soon as you can to avoid further repercussions.

If You Don’t Treat Your Cavities, They Can Take Over

When you develop a cavity, you’ll want to have your dentist treat it. Your dentist will clean out the bacterial infection and thoroughly sanitize the tooth. Once sanitized, your dentist will fill the tooth with a biocompatible material that is durable — a metal amalgam or dental resin. If you don’t treat your cavities, the hole will continue to grow. The bacteria will eventually reach the dentin and pulp of your tooth, spreading to infect the entire thing. This can lead to infected root canals and structural instability. You’ll experience pain in your tooth, and you may eventually lose it.

Get Cavities Treated at Stubbs Family Dentistry Before They Progress

If you notice the signs of cavity formation, or if you simply haven’t been in for a cleaning in over six months, schedule an appointment at Stubbs Family Dentistry. Our team will thoroughly evaluate your teeth to spot any developing issues and treat them before they cause more pain and problems for your teeth. Schedule your appointment at Stubbs Family Dentistry in West Allis, WI by calling 414-541-8250.