Are Cavities Serious?

Cavities, also known as dental caries, are one of the most common dental problems in the world. In fact, most people will have at least one cavity in their lifetime. A plaque and bacteria buildup on the teeth can lead to enamel erosion. While cavities may seem minor, they can have serious side effects if left untreated. 

Are Cavities Serious?

Tooth Decay

The most obvious consequence of cavities is tooth decay. Cavities can cause small holes to form in the tooth’s enamel, leading to deeper and more serious decay over time. If left untreated, cavities can cause tooth pain, sensitivity, and even tooth loss. In some cases, tooth decay can become so severe that a root canal or tooth extraction may be necessary.

Gum Disease

Cavities can also lead to gum disease, which is a serious condition that can cause inflammation and infection in the gums. Gum disease can cause gum recession, tooth loss, and even bone loss in the jaw. In severe cases, gum disease can even lead to systemic health problems, such as heart disease and stroke.


If a cavity is left untreated, it can lead to an infection in the tooth. This can cause severe pain, swelling, and even a fever. In some cases, the infection can spread to other parts of the body, which can be life-threatening. To prevent infection, it’s important to seek treatment for cavities as soon as possible.

Bad Breath

Cavities can also cause bad breath, which can be embarrassing and unpleasant. When a cavity develops, it can create a space where bacteria can grow and thrive. This can lead to a buildup of odor-causing bacteria in the mouth, which can cause bad breath.

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is also common with cavities. Naturally, tooth sensitivity can be very uncomfortable. When a cavity erodes the tooth’s enamel, it can expose the sensitive inner layer of the tooth, called the dentin. This can cause discomfort when eating or drinking hot or cold foods and beverages.

Treatment Options for Cavities

Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for cavities

Dental fillings are the most common treatment for cavities. During this process, your dentist will remove the decayed part of your tooth before filling it with a resin. This composite resin helps support the tooth and prevent the spread of bacteria.

With larger cavities, a dental crown may be necessary. A crown is a cap that covers the entire tooth and provides extra support and protection.

If the cavity has reached the pulp of the tooth, a root canal may be required. This involves removing the infected pulp and filling the root canals with a material to prevent further infection.

In some cases, you may need a tooth extraction if the cavity is too severe for other methods.

Don’t wait to seek treatment if you suspect you have a cavity. Addressing cavities early on can prevent more serious problems and help you enjoy a healthier smile.