What Happens If A Cavity Is Left Untreated

What Happens If A Cavity Is Left Untreated?

Team Children Pediatric Dentistry

Proper dental care is always important — especially when setting children up with a foundation for a lifetime of oral health. So, when issues like cavities arise concerning a young patient’s teeth and gums, action should be swift.  

What happens if a cavity is left untreated? Do you need to address cavities in primary teeth? Here’s everything you need to know. 

Signs Your Child May Have a Cavity

Cavities form due to decay that makes its way through the tooth’s enamel. Its presence can often be felt and visibly seen. 

  • A hole or pit in the tooth 
  • A white spot or dark discoloration
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages
  • Sensitivity to sugary sweets
  • Toothache

Pay attention to these signs so that you can have a cavity addressed right away by your child’s dentist. 

Dangers of Leaving a Cavity Untreated

What happens if you don’t catch the signs of a cavity? Or what happens if you decide to leave it alone without treatment? Not addressing a cavity will lead to further decay of the tooth and more pain for your little one. Below are just a few of the dangers. 

Increased Pain

Cavities can hurt, causing both toothaches and sensitivities. Treating them promptly can remove the pain and discomfort. 

Not addressing it will lead to increased pain for your child. As a result, it could cause disruptions in eating, sleeping, and other necessary daily activities. Overall quality of life will decrease. 

Risk of Infection

Cavities can lead to a greater risk of infection and may even allow abscesses to form. This can spread through the tooth and gums, spreading into the jaw bone and surrounding teeth. What’s more, the infection can eventually make its way into the bloodstream and become a medical emergency. 

The Need for More Complex Dental Treatment

Cavities are easily addressed with fillings. The decay is removed and the filling material is placed in the hole to seal it from any further unwanted activity. This instantly relieves your child’s pain and protects the tooth. 

Cavities that are not treated right away can grow and reach deeper within the tooth. As a result, more complex dental treatment may be necessary, such as a pulpotomy or extraction. 

Disruption of Speech and Development

The symptoms of cavities can be very disruptive to your child’s life in many different ways. The discomfort they bring can cause your child to adjust how the mouth moves when speaking, putting young kids at risk of language development issues. 

Because the pain can be persistent, cavities can interfere with the ability to focus while in school. Or, in any situation, for that matter. 

Frequently Asked Questions

When should my child first visit the dentist? 

Your child’s first visit to the dentist should be by the age of 12 months, whether or not any teeth have erupted.

Do cavities in baby teeth need to be treated?

Yes, cavities in primary teeth require the attention of a dentist. They will determine the best course of treatment. 

Cavity Treatment in Orange County

Preventative dental care can give your child the best chance of reducing cavities — as well as catching them early. At Orange County Pediatric Dentistry, we recommend professional dental cleanings every 6 months for prevention and early detection. 

Contact us today at 845-928-2206 to make an appointment.