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What happens when a cavity is left untreated?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Craig | March 4, 2015

A cavity left untreated can become a really big deal!  Besides intense pain and swelling from an abscess, here are some of the other complications of untreated cavities:

  • Sinus Problems: Upper molars are located right beneath the sinuses. Abscesses in these molars can infection the sinus.
  • Tooth Loss: When the abscess affects the bone and gums surrounding the tooth, it will become mobile. It will begin to move more and more until it falls out.
  • Endocarditis: When the bacteria from the abscess reach the bloodstream it can affect the heart causing a condition called bacterial endocarditis.
  • Ludwig’s Angina: This is a serious infection that affects parts of the face and lower jaw. It can grow to block the airways, causing suffocation and even death.

The best thing is to treat a cavity when it is little and thus a small filling can be placed.  Putting it off only makes things much worse!