This is what happened to my molar yesterday. On a much smaller scale, obviously.
I was eating some candy that was sent to me by someone really nice and all of a sudden >> krrrrick!!<< To be fair, it wasn’t the fault of my sugary benefactress; the tooth had been feeling a little funny for the previous few days and no amount of flossing, probing, or Anbesol application provided resolution.
Fortunately, my dentist is only three blocks away from my workplace. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been there in nine years. Even Snoopy had thrown in the towel.
I was very lucky, showing up when they had a bit of downtime and when the doctor just happened to be in the vicinity of the receptionist’s desk, so I was able to both reacquaint and get my poor tooth looked at right away. As he was examining my mouth the dentist observed that my teeth were great, very healthy (this has always been so, which helps me to rationalize the long intervals of being AWOL), except for that anomalous lower left molar, which had a lot of decay and general nastiness. He said it would have had to have been degrading for months and the hardness of the candy simply finished the job.
I’m now sitting here, thankfully not in pain, with a large piece of my tooth missing, exposing some seriously vile and discolored material. The molar’s due to be numbed, excavated, and filled on Friday. With any luck, that’ll be the end of it, although there’s a possibility that these measures won’t be sufficient and a root canal will be required. We’ll know in a few months, apparently.