What Happens When A Cavity Forms?

tooth cavity prevention in Arlington Heights ILAt some point, nearly all of us will experience the onset of a dental cavity. After all, only about 1% to 2% of the population are immune to dental caries. What happens when a cavity forms? What dangers does tooth decay pose for our smile and when should we see a dentist?

The Causes and Warning Signs

What causes a cavity? Well, our teeth are coated in a layer of tooth enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. However, enamel can erode due to poor oral hygiene or an injury to the teeth. Bacteria can then move past the enamel and reach the dentin, a sensitive structure that makes up the majority of the tooth. A cavity can then form, leading to tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures or possibly a persistent toothache. Should you have a tooth that hurts, you should schedule a visit for a diagnosis and to discuss possible treatment options.

The Dangers of Tooth Decay

Without treatment the cavity continues to grow. Eventually, the bacteria can reach your inner pulp. The pulp is the tooth’s nerve center, overseeing the flow of nutrients to and from your tooth. An infection can lead to increased discomfort and eventually, a greater risk of losing the tooth entirely. We always recommend treating decay in a timely manner to safeguard your smile.


We often treat cavities with a dental filling. Ours are not made from metal, instead we use a composite resin material that can be shaded to blend with the tooth. We remove the decay, clean the tooth, and apply the material. We can sculpt the tooth as the composite resin cures under a light. Finally, we polish the tooth, completing the procedure and preventing further complications in a single visit.


Dr. Brent Engelberg and our highly-skilled team proudly serve patients and their families from Arlington Heights, IL, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, schedule a consultation online, or call our office today at (847) 230-9703.