Most people get cavities. A cavity occurs when bacteria penetrate your teeth and begin to carve out a cute little home for themselves. Bacteria can eat away at your tooth and cause some long-lasting damage if it is left unchecked.

Studies show that as many as 78 percent of Americans experience at least some level of fear or anxiety when they have to pay their dentist a visit. This means there are people out there who skip the dentist office completely, even if they do have a cavity that needs attention.

If left untreated, that cavity will cause you more grief than just the pain and discomfort you are feeling right now. James W. Mellert DDS and Associates, your dentist in Torrance, offers a few things that will happen should you ignore that cavity.

Split Tooth

Big cavities are responsible for tooth fractures. A healthy, intact tooth will rarely break. However, a tooth with a lot of decay is highly susceptible to cracking.

Just imagine having a nice meal at Applebee’s and having your tooth snap while taking a bite of your Grilled Chicken Wonton Tacos.

Nerve Damage

In the middle of your tooth is a skinny hollow tube filled with blood vessels and nerves. When your cavity reaches the pulp, you can expect to suffer some serious pain. And the longer you ignore it, the worse it will get.

Your cavity might start off giving you some mild discomfort, but that will turn into around the clock pain in a matter of time. If you wait too long to visit the dentist, the nerve of your tooth will die.

Suffer an Infection

The dead tissue left in the wake of your cavity can make your body more vulnerable to a host of infections. The toxins from the dead tissue will start infecting the tip of the root and then work its way into your cheek and towards the jaw and glands. You might even get a fever.

Your Tooth Can Die

When you have a cavity in a tooth, it becomes sensitive to nerve infection. An infection will cause swelling until blood can no longer reach the tooth. This can cause the tooth to die.

On one hand, once the tooth is dead, your pain will go away. The bad news is that as long as the cavity exists, it is slowly destroying the tooth.
Abscess Formation

In the final stage of cavity progression, a pus-filled pocket will form. We aren’t going to lie, there will be swelling and a lot of pain. The side of your face will likely be swollen as well.

What is really scary is that you might not feel any pain at first, until things get really bad and then the pain gets super intense.

As you can see, severe cavities don’t just happen overnight. If you think you might have the beginnings of a cavity, it is in your best interest to visit your dentist and get it treated right away.

Contact James W. Mellert and schedule an appointment.