What are the stages of a cavity?

Author: Libby Stracke  |  Last update: Saturday, November 20, 2021

The Five Stages of a Cavity
  • Stage 1: Attack of the Little White Spots.
  • Stage 2: Enamel Decay.
  • Stage 3: Going Deeper Into the Dentin.
  • Stage 4: Ouch! The Decay Hits the Pulp.
  • Stage 5: Abscess Distress.

What are the 5 stages of tooth decay?

Stages of tooth decay
  • Stage 1: Initial demineralization. The outer layer of your teeth is composed of a type of tissue called enamel. ...
  • Stage 2: Enamel decay. If the process of tooth decay is allowed to continue, enamel will break down further. ...
  • Stage 3: Dentin decay. ...
  • Stage 4: Pulp damage. ...
  • Stage 5: Abscess.

How long does a cavity take to progress?

The time it takes for a cavity to form varies. It can, on average, take anywhere from six months to four or five years before a cavity requires treatment. The length of time it takes will vary on a case-by-case basis because the conditions of your mouth differ daily.

How long can you have a cavity before it gets bad?

Like most ailments, the longer you leave a cavity without treatment, the worse it's going to get. In a span of 3-6 months cavities can reach the nerve of your tooth.

Can you stop a cavity in its early stages?

Fortunately, the beginning stages of a cavity can be reversed by taking steps toward good oral hygiene. During early demineralization, exposure to fluoride, daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleanings can all help prevent — or even reverse — tooth decay.

Tooth decay and cavities - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

How many cavities is normal?

According to the National Institutes of Health, 92% of adults in the United States between the ages of 20 and 64 years have had cavities in their permanent teeth. Each of these individuals has an average of 3.28 cavities.

Do cavities spread?

Can cavities spread? Short answer is no, they aren't necessarily going to spread from tooth to tooth, but the same conditions that created one cavity can create another.

Can cavities heal naturally?

Do Cavities Heal Naturally? Although the early stages of tooth decay can be reversed, cavities don't heal naturally. According to the Mayo Clinic, professional fluoride treatments can repair weakened enamel and reverse a cavity in its earliest stages.

Can a cavity heal itself?

However, unless a cavity is in the beginning stages of formation, it cannot heal naturally, especially for one that has broken through the dentin. When you start feeling pain in the localized tooth, it's a sign that the damage is too significant, and you should see a dentist for professional cavity treatment.

Can cavities disappear?

Cavities don't just go away on their own. If you ignore a cavity, it will continue to grow in size. One bad cavity could lead to a second cavity before long. Decay of the tooth will widen and deepen; this will make you more prone to brittle teeth leaving them to the possibility of cracking and breaking.

Are black dots on teeth cavities?

Cavity, or tooth decay: Perhaps the most common cause for a black spot on your molar teeth is tooth decay, or a cavity. A cavity forms when the build-up of plaque, which contains acids, is allowed to erode the surface enamel of a tooth. A hole in the tooth's protective layer sometimes shows as a black dot.

How do you stop a cavity from getting worse?

Preventing a Cavity From Getting Worse
  1. Brush Carefully. Everyone knows that brushing is vital to keeping teeth and gums healthy. ...
  2. Stay Hydrated. When your mouth is very dry, it allows bacteria to accumulate, which can cause cavities. ...
  3. Use Fluoride. ...
  4. Rinse With Salt Water. ...
  5. Avoid Refined Sugars. ...
  6. Chew Xylitol Gum.

Can I wait 6 months to fill a cavity?

Some people have softer tooth enamel than others, which makes it easier for bacteria or acid to penetrate the tooth. As a broad timeline, on average, it can take anywhere from six months to four or five years before a cavity needs treatment.

What do early stage cavities look like?

What Does a Cavity Look Like? While it is usually difficult to see a cavity in its beginning stages, some cavities start with a whitish or chalky appearance on the enamel of your tooth. More serious cases can have a discolored brown or black color. However, most often there are no distinguishable red alerts.

How do I know how bad my cavity is?

Watch for these easy-to-spot cavity symptoms and contact your dentist if you notice even a single one.
  1. Persistent Toothache. ...
  2. Pain When You Chew. ...
  3. Visible Pits on the Surface of the Tooth. ...
  4. Bad Breath. ...
  5. You Have Stained and Discolored Teeth. ...
  6. Sensitivity When Eating Certain Foods. ...
  7. Noticeable Holes in the Enamel.

How bad can cavities get?

If left untreated, a cavity can eventually destroy your tooth. An untreated cavity can also create more serious complications, like a tooth abscess or an infection that gets into your bloodstream, which can be life threatening.

Do cavities smell?

All joking aside, the bacteria in decay gives off a very unpleasant smell. When a cavity has formed, this build up of bacteria in your mouth can cause your teeth and breath to smell bad. People who have untreated periodontal disease can also experience bad breath.

Is a cavity a hole?

A cavity is a hole in a tooth that develops from tooth decay. Cavities form when acids in the mouth wear down, or erode, a tooth's hard outer layer (enamel). Anyone can get a cavity. Proper brushing, flossing and dental cleanings can prevent cavities (sometimes called dental caries).

How do you heal a cavity in 2 days?

If you have a cavity, there's only one way to get rid of it in two days: seeing your dentist right away. To repair cavities, dentists perform a simple filling procedure. First, the dentist removes the decayed portion of the tooth. Then, they clean the area and place a filling material where the cavity was in the tooth.

What are the black spots on your teeth?

The black spots come from the dentin that is underneath and is made of a shade that is naturally darker when it gets exposed by the worn enamel. When there is buildup of plaque on your teeth, this hardens to create a substance that is referred to as tartar.

What foods cause cavity?

What Foods Cause Cavities?
  • Chewy Candy. Eating lots of sugar is bad for oral health, and candies are full of it, making them one of the most common foods that are bad for your teeth. ...
  • Starchy Snacks. ...
  • Citrus Fruits and Sugary Juices. ...
  • Sweet Treats.

Why are my teeth rotting even though I brush?

There are several reasons as to why your teeth are bad even after brushing them. Some of the most common causes include: not using the right toothpaste, not flossing, brushing too hard, and not brushing your teeth for a long enough time.

Can cavity be removed by brushing?

“And that acid, over time … it'll wear a hole in your tooth,” says Kimberly Harms, DDS, a dentist from Farmington, MN. “Once that hole gets in the tooth, then that bacteria can get inside the little hole, and you can't brush it or floss it away, anymore.”

Can you give cavities by kissing?

Cavities can be transmitted from one person to another. When evaluating kissing couples, studies have found that it is possible for a partner to develop a cavity, even if they have never had one before, if their partner has poor oral hygiene.

Does kissing someone with cavities?

As long as you are taking practicing oral health and hygiene habits, you don't need to worry about spreading dangerous, cavity-causing germs with your kisses. However, avoid doing things that could spread oral bacteria to small children.

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