How Long Before a Cavity Becomes a Problem?

Oral Hygiene Basics Carmel, IN

A cavity does not instantly form overnight, even if you had one too many candy bars. Tooth decay is a slow-moving process that can occur for years before treatment is needed. Cavities are created by acids in the mouth demineralizing teeth surfaces, leading to the formation of tiny holes.

These cavities will continue to expand until they destroy the tooth or lead to infection. The early stages of tooth decay can be reversed with preventative dental procedures like fluoride treatments.

Figuring out when a cavity needs treatment

It can take as long as five years from the time a cavity begins to develop to when the tooth needs treatment to prevent the cavity from spreading further. For some people, though, that period can be as short as a few months.

No two mouths are unique, so there is no standard timeline for the development of cavities. Several factors, like a person’s oral hygiene habits and how often they consume sugary foods/beverages, affect how long it takes for a cavity to progress. Other factors that affect how long it takes before a cavity needs treatment include:

  • The location of the tooth: Molars and other teeth in the back of the mouth tend to be more difficult to clean, so tooth decay tends to expand faster in those areas because it provides a better environment
  • How healthy a person’s enamel is: Teeth with healthy enamel that gets all the nutrients it needs to re-mineralize itself, like fluoride, are not as vulnerable to quickly progressing tooth decay
  • The location of the cavity: Enamel is the strongest part of the body, so a cavity that forms there will take longer to progress than one that develops in the dentin, which is not as durable

Dentists recommend coming in for treatment even if a cavity is still in its early stages. The decay can still be reversed at that point through the process of remineralization. This can prevent the early stage of tooth decay from turning into a cavity.

Decay is caused by teeth losing the minerals that keep them intact. Procedures like fluoride treatments can be used to infuse teeth with fluoride and other vital minerals. As a result, the tooth uses these minerals to repair the damage caused by the decay and strengthens itself.

Remineralization only works before large cavities form on teeth. Other treatments, like dental fillings, are needed once large cavities begin to develop.

Preventing cavities

Simple things, like good oral hygiene, can protect teeth against tooth decay. Brushing twice daily and flossing once each day are two important things that a person can do to protect their teeth against decay. Using an antibacterial mouthwash that contains fluoride provides additional protection. Other ways to prevent tooth decay include:

  • Minimize sugary foods and beverages
  • Get preventative treatments, like dental sealants
  • Drink water
  • Eat foods that contain minerals that teeth need, like green leafy vegetables for calcium

Stop tooth decay in its tracks

Stop the decay on your teeth before it turns into cavities or worse. Call or visit our Carmel clinic to set up an appointment with our dentist.

Request an appointment here: https://www.carmelsmilesdentist.com or call Smiles in the Village Dentistry at (317) 200-3679 for an appointment in our Carmel office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Cavity in Carmel, IN.

Related Posts

3 Reasons To Get Treated For Bad Breath

Many people have bad breath and do not even realize it. Medically termed halitosis, bad breath can lead to anxiety and embarrassment. It can also lead to you feeling alienated because most people would rather talk to someone whose mouth stinks. For many people, bad breath is caused by poor oral hygiene, but it can…

What You Need To Know About Fluoride

Almost everyone has probably turned on their kitchen faucet a few times only to see light colored water coming out. The white substance that looks like a powder is usually fluoride which is added to water at times to help with the condition of the teeth. Flouride comes from fluorine and is a substance that…

Do You Have These 5 Signs Of Oral Health Issues?

Your oral health offers clues about your overall health and wellness. Many people don’t realize that oral problems can tell your dentist and your doctors a lot about your overall health. There are many oral health problems that can affect your entire body. Learning how oral health is connected to the entire body's health is…

Drinks To Avoid To Maintain Dental Health

Some drinks taste amazing but can be amazingly bad for our dental health. There are drinks we should aspire to avoid, and there are drinks that benefit our teeth but damage them as well.The key is moderation and correct use. Here are a few drinks that you should watch out for:They pack a one-two punch.…

Related Posts

Visit A Restorative Dentist For Missing Teeth

Visit A Restorative Dentist For Missing Teeth

A restorative dentist is exactly who you need to talk to if you have missing teeth. Losing a tooth can be a worrisome experience as you realize your smile has been permanently changed. Fortunately, there are many missing tooth replacement options these days thanks to the countless dental innovations that have occurred in the past…

Can Veneers Widen Your Smile?

Can Veneers Widen Your Smile?

Veneers are artificial shells placed on the surface of teeth to cover up a number of cosmetic issues. Patients who have cosmetic problems, whether teeth are chipped, cracked, stained, or too small, frequently hide these imperfections by not smiling. This can impact self-confidence and affect a person’s daily quality of life. A patient with a…