Dentist Questions Cavities

Do all cavities need to be filled?

I am a 24 year old male and I have several cavities. Do all cavities need to be filled?

8 Answers

A cavity means that decay has made a hole in your tooth. The decay is composed of bacteria that will continue to turn your tooth mushy inside. The decay must be removed and a filling placed in the cavity that was created by the decay.
In general, yes. However, I have patients who have been with me many years and sometimes I notice very small decay. Because they come in very regularly, I am just observing it. If it gets worse, I can always do a filling.
Yes. Unless if it is only in the enamel.
Yes. Under most circumstances, cavities need to be "filled" so the tooth can be returned to normal function. A cavity that is not professionally treated could lead to the tooth's nerve to be infected. This could lead to a great deal of pain and the nerve could die. This may lead to root canal treatment which can be expensive, and may need to be followed by a crown being
placed on the tooth. An untreated cavity and dead or dying nerve could also lead to an infection of the jaw or sinuses, which in turn could lead to draining infections and even to infection of the brain. Death could follow if no treatment is available.

Very small lesions found in middle aged persons sometimes may be left alone if the person has good dental hygiene otherwise. This is a matter for you to bring to the attention of your dentist and ask for his/her opinion. Every person is different, so you need the opinion of the dentist after he/she makes a diagnosis.
Yes, so they don't get larger and start to hurt you!
Cavities are decay. It is kind of like if you have a cut on your finger that is infected and you just watch it get bigger and bigger – eventually your finger rots off, but you don’t have do anything about it….the decay will move from one finger to the other until they are gone……eventually it will move to your blood and go other places in your body. Nothing says you have to stop the rotting flesh, but once it is rotting you will not be able to stop it on your own.

So to answer your question – you don’t have to get them filled – you can ignore the bad breathe the bacteria causes and wait until the decay hits the nerve and causes pain or until the tooth breaks off. Hopefully, the bacteria in your mouth, that all your food and drink passes, won’t go elsewhere in your body. Hopefully, it won’t go directly into the arteries that pass through your neck and go elsewhere – but you cannot get rid of the decay on your own, you need a dentist to remove the decay and fill the remaining hole so it does not get food and more bacteria in it.

There is an old saying you only need to take care of the teeth you want to keep.

Jim Kline
If you have been diagnosed with caries/cavities, then you will need to get fillings to stop the decay from getting worse.
Yes, or they will become larger.