| | Really bad cavity
I have had a cavity in one of my lower molars for a long time. I can't even remember when I first noticed it, but it's been over a year, and I haven't been to a dentist. It has rotted away a lot (it's pretty awful, so sorry if this grosses you out), and now there's no tooth at all above the gum, just a hole. Sometimes it gets really painful for a few days, but normally it doesn't hurt. Several months ago, I think I had an abscess or something in that tooth, really painful, and my jaw swelled up a lot, but it went away after a few days, happened again several weeks later, but hasn't happened again for a few months.
Here's what I want to know: What can I do about it? I don't know much about dental work. Would I have to get a root canal? What if I didn't do anything about it? Will it keep rotting until it's all the way gone or will it probably stop? I can't really brush it because it hurts if I do (but I use mouthwash).