Ever been told by your dentist that you have a cavity and need a filling and simply nodded and went on your way thinking you’d worry about it later? Avoiding having a cavity filled isn’t a great idea because waiting until “later” can backfire. If you decide to wait on having your tooth filled, days quickly turn to weeks which quickly turn into months and eventually you never give your cavity a second thought…until it hurts.
I’ll admit, I might have in the past thought that a small cavity isn’t really a big deal and probably didn’t require any immediate attention. Do you know that a cavity, or tooth decay, is “the destruction of your tooth enamel” according to the American Dental Association. Well, I don’t know about you but that sounds pretty darn serious to me! In fact, on the American Dental Association’s website www.mouthhealthy.org, tooth decay is described as follows:
“Tooth decay is the destruction of your tooth enamel, the hard, outer layer of your teeth. It can be a problem for children, teens and adults. Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, constantly forms on your teeth. When you eat or drink foods containing sugars, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel. The stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with your teeth and over time the enamel can break down. This is when cavities can form” (from www.mouthhealthy.org).
So if you have a cavity that needs a filling, don’t delay treatment. The decay can continue to develop and cause additional damage to a tooth. You can end up needing something much more extensive, not to mention expensive, such as a root canal if you wait too long to have the decay addressed. Responding to decay in a timely manner will only help you avoid more aggravation, pain and expense later.
Think cavities are only for little kids who guzzle pop and hoard sticky candy? The American Dental Association explains that “Cavities are more common among children, but changes that occur with aging make cavities an adult problem, too” (from www.mouthhealthy.org). A very small cavity, when first discovered by your dentist, may very well cause you no pain at all. Unfortunately, if the decay has a chance to deepen, it can lead to pain and require more extensive dental work than a simple filling.
How do you know if you have any decay? A visit to your dentist, of course! The very best way to be proactive about your oral health is to visit your dentist regularly. This means visiting every six months for a cleaning and checkup. Through the use of x-rays and examination, your dentist will be able to spot any decay and fill the cavity before it has a chance to grow.
If you were told by your dentist that you have a cavity that needs filling and thought you could put it off until sometime in the future, rethink this choice. Being proactive about your dental health and having fillings done in a timely manner will only help prevent more serious and complicated dental work from being needed in the future.
Bright Side Dental is a dental group with locations in Sterling Heights, St. Clair Shores, Clarkston, Livonia, Canton, Southfield, and Royal Oak, Michigan. Visit www.BrightSideDental.com.