Is this cavity a candidate for healing, or filling?

May 6, 2022
I have a cavity between 2 molars, at the front of my upper back right molar. I initially had sensitivity to cold. It showed up on x-rays, and my dentist said it needs to be restored. It's uncomfortable to chew more than modestly hard. Using a water pik was very uncomfortable, and one of those tiny between-the-teeth dental brushes (barely fits) is downright painful. It's not overtly painful, but I am aware that it is there. I have cut out all refined sugars, and brush and floss after every meal - something that may have prevented this cavity had I done so in the past. Even still, until I recently started not chewing on that side, I would get a tart taste in my mouth, I assume from the fermentation of whatever sugars and starches made their way into the cavity. I've had a pit cavity in a pre-molar that my dentist says we should watch, so he seems reasonably conservative with treatment.

I've read some about giving cavities the right conditions to heal, but based on the Wikipedia article on tooth decay, dentin reacts to cavities by growing toward the pulp, not toward the surface. That article says once a cavity has formed, it must be filled. I've read other things that say that small cavities can heal, making the question is my cavity small enough? I can't actually see it, and I don't have the experience to say it's small, even if I could see it. The risk of waiting is that it only get worse, leading to a deeper filling or a root canal.



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