Can a Cavity Be Reversed?

Cavity Madison, MS

A cavity can be reversed if a dentist detects it in its early stages. Cavities are caused by untreated tooth decay. If the decay gets past the demineralization stage, small holes start to form on teeth surfaces. These cavities then become the perfect environment for oral bacteria to destroy teeth because they can hide under food particles.

When left untreated, a cavity will continue to expand, and that can lead to infection or total tooth loss. A tooth becomes prone to infection when its pulp chamber is compromised by decay or trauma. The pulp chamber contains a tooth’s blood vessel and nerve. Decay or damage that opens the normally sealed-off area leaves the tooth vulnerable to decay.

How a dentist can reverse a cavity

Cavities are caused by acids in the mouth breaking down the surfaces of teeth, leading to the formation of tiny holes. Five main stages occur as cavities are being developed.


This is the only stage of tooth decay that can be reversed with fluoride treatments. The decay causes no noticeable symptoms at this point, but a dentist can detect the damage during a routine examination.

Enamel breakdown

This occurs once an area of enamel has been demineralized by decay. Tiny holes begin to form on teeth surfaces at this stage.

Dentin decay

This is the result of ignoring cavities on enamel. Once the cavity has eaten through an area of enamel, it spreads into the more delicate dentin. At this stage, the cavity might start to cause toothaches and increased sensitivity. The cavity will also expand at a faster rate once it reaches the dentin.

Pulp decay

Some people refuse to get dental treatment for whatever reason, even when it is causing them pain. They might manage the pain with over-the-counter toothache products, which may work for weeks, months, or even years. That will not stop the decay from expanding, though, and it will eventually reach the pulp chamber. This leaves the nerve and blood vessels there exposed to bacteria in the mouth. It can also cause severe toothache when acids in the mouth and debris irritate these soft tissues. Root canal therapy is needed to repair the tooth at this stage.


This occurs when the bacteria in a cavity get past the tooth’s pulp and make their way into the structures below the gums. It can lead to a pocket of pus forming and an infection of bone tissues. Dentists typically address this by draining the pus and applying medication to the area.

Stop decay in its tracks

There is no fixed timetable for how fast tooth decay progresses because it is affected by many factors, like how well you take care of your teeth or if you have a significant sweet tooth. What is guaranteed is that the decay will go through all these stages when left untreated. Call or visit our Madison clinic to set up an appointment with our dentist to get treatment for any decay on your teeth.

Request an appointment here: or call Dental Care of Madison at (601) 898-9390 for an appointment in our Madison office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Cavity in Madison, MS.

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