Finding out you have a cavity can be an upsetting experience. Cavities can seriously impact your oral health if not treated properly, so it’s important to know what they are and how to treat them. If you have a Stage 1 Early Cavity, identifying and treating it promptly can help you get back to having a healthy mouth, teeth and gums.
What Are Cavities?
Cavities are, quite simply, holes in the teeth. They form when bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar and carbohydrates that stick to your tooth from food or drink. These bacteria produce acidic waste as a by-product. This acid eats away at the enamel, or outer layer, of your teeth, causing cavities.
What Is A Stage 1 Early Cavity?
Stage 1 early cavities usually do not cause pain and are discovered by a dentist or dental hygienist during a routine examination. They look like a small gray spot or a small area of missing enamel. These cavities do not usually hurt because they have not reached the dentin layer where nerves rest.
Stage 1 cavities are categorized as mild and may progress to Stage 2 or 3 cavities if left untreated. The progression rates are different for each person and depend on the cavity’s location and your individual diet.
In most cases, however, stage 1 early cavities can turn into advanced cavities quite quickly. That is why early treatment is essential to prevent them from developing and causing more serious problems, which will eventually lead to tooth loss.
What About The Other Cavity Stages?
From Stage 1, the cavity progresses to Stage 2, entering the dentin layer underneath the enamel and starting to extend into the tooth’s interior. These cavities can cause pain and lead to fractures and other problems. They also can affect chewing and your speaking ability. It also makes it difficult for your dentist to effectively restore the original, healthy state of the tooth.
Cavities that have spread into the dentin layer and begun to damage the pulp of nerves are Stage 3 cavities. These are dangerous because they can lead to bacterial infections of the pulp, which will slowly eat away at the nerve tissue. If you experience any pain, swelling or sensitivity in your teeth after eating, contact your dentist immediately.
Stage 4 cavities are at a point where they have completely destroyed the enamel and dentin layer and have invaded the pulp, making them very difficult to restore. The tooth is beyond saving at this point, and a root canal is necessary.
If a cavity is allowed to develop even further, it destroys the tooth completely and can lead to an abscess. This can infect nearby soft tissues in the jaw, face or even enter the bloodstream, becoming life-threatening.
Treatment Options and Conclusion
The best way to treat a Stage 1 Early Cavity is to catch it early. By treating the cavity when it is still small, your dentist can save the tooth without significant restoration or fillings. The earlier you catch a cavity, the easier it is to treat.
Make sure to get regular checkups and cleanings from a dentist you trust. In addition, eating a healthy, sugar-free diet can help you catch cavities in time, and prevent further cavities from forming.
Houston Dental Implant and Cosmetic Center helps patients achieve their best smiles through cosmetic, restorative and implant dentistry in Texas. To get in touch with us, call our Bellaire location at (713) 664-1661, or our Pearland location at (713) 436-7697.