It can take up to five years from the time a cavity begins to develop until the tooth needs treatment to prevent the cavity from spreading further. However, for some people, that period can be as short as a few months. Cavities won't go away on their own. If you leave a cavity untreated, it will only continue to grow and cause more decay in the tooth.
An untreated tooth decay can have dramatic results that can be so severe that they can even cause death. Cavities are a gateway to infection, which can spread quickly the longer it's not treated. As soon as an infection reaches the bloodstream, it can travel throughout the rest of the body, with fatal consequences. If a cavity isn't treated for two years or more, serious damage to the tooth is likely to occur.
You'll notice discoloration around the tooth, swelling around the gums, and severe pain and tenderness. The bacteria likely damaged the root and pulp of the tooth at this time. Or, a root canal can save the tooth and eliminate tooth decay. If detected early, the dentist can add a filling that will save the integrity of the tooth and protect it against future cavities.
Tooth decay is a common dental problem that can usually be resolved with a simple dental procedure, such as a filling. Here's what your local DTLA dentist wants you to know about the dangers of leaving tooth decay unattended. Untreated tooth decay can cause an increasing number of health problems the longer they go untreated. To answer the question of how long a cavity can remain untreated, it's important to first understand how cavities form.