When does a cavity turn into dental work?

There are three layers of the tooth: enamel (the top layer), dentin (middle layer) and nerve tissue (deepest layer). If your tooth has a cavity in the enamel or dentin layer, a simple filling is enough to repair the cavity. However, if the cavity is left untreated, it will reach the deepest layer of the tooth, the nerve tissue. At this point, a root canal is necessary to repair the tooth. If an infected tooth is left untreated, the infection can get into the bloodstream making your child sick.


What are the signs that dental work is needed?

If you have a cavity that has reached the nerve tissue, you may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Toothache when pressure (such as chewing) is applied to the tooth
  • Tooth sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Discoloration of the tooth
  • Swelling or tenderness of the gums
  • Boil near the infected tooth


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