Yes, most dental issues don’t become painful until they’re severe.
Cavities don’t hurt until they are large. Cavities don't hurt until they reach the deepest part of your tooth (the nerve). However, once they reach the nerve, you might need a root canal instead of a simple filling, which could have been done when the cavity was smaller.
Gum disease doesn’t hurt, either. Gum disease typically involves painless destruction of gum and supporting gum structures. Gum disease usually doesn’t hurt until it becomes so severe that your teeth are loose.
Please visit our page on gum disease to learn more!