Dealing with cavities is not fun, and spotting that one cavity on the side of your tooth can raise some concerns. You might wonder if this differs from a regular cavity and how it should be treated. Well, no need to worry because we are here to provide you with all the information you need about it.
Types of Cavities
Let’s start with the types of cavities that you may encounter.
1. Smooth-Surface Cavities
This particular type of cavity typically develops on the side of your teeth. They affect the flat exterior surface and develop quite slowly. Thankfully, they are not common, but if you are not on your feet with your dental care regime, they can become a problem.
Treatment for Cavities That Develop On Sides
Since they take their sweet time to grow, you can easily treat them. More often than not, fluoride treatments such as using gels, toothpaste, varnishes, or fluoride-enriched water help them resolve to a considerable extent. However, if a cavity manages to go beyond the smooth surface enamel, you will need to opt for a filling procedure. Sometimes, your cavities may pop up between teeth, so dentists typically use X-rays to spot them. If detected early, fluoride treatments can do the trick.
2. Root Cavities
Root cavities are common in older adults, especially those who may have issues such as receding gums. When your gums move away from their original position, the tooth’s roots are exposed, and they are susceptible to erosive acids, bacteria, and decay.
3. Pit and Fissure Cavities
These cavities often make their appearance on the rear molars. They tend to pop up on the chewing surfaces of your teeth because those grooves and crevices serve as prime spots for plaque and food to hang out. If you are not vigilant at brushing regularly, especially the sides, you might be more prone to pit and fissure cavities.
The good news is that there is a preventive measure for this, a process known as sealants. Dentists can use them to protect the teeth of both children and adults who are at a higher risk of developing these cavities.
Treating All Types of Cavities
Now, what about treating these cavities? Well, there are a few different approaches to choose from:
Dental sealants serve as small coats of shield for your teeth. Dentists apply a thin layer, which acts like a plastic coating to your chewing surfaces, preventing or slowing down tooth decay. These sealants bond well with the grooves of your teeth, creating a protective covering over the enamel.
When decay has already passed on, dentists may need to get rid of the damaged portion entirely and fill the cavity present on the side of your tooth. Fillings can be made from various materials such as porcelain, gold, silver, resin, or amalgam, which has mercury mixed with copper, silver, zinc, and tin. The choice of material depends on case and patient preferences.
3. Root Canals
In some cases, cavities can lead to inflammation or infections in the tooth pulp. When that happens, a root canal may be necessary. This procedure eliminates bacteria from the root canal, prevents reinfection, and saves your natural tooth. During a root canal, the infected or inflamed pulp is removed, the insides of your tooth are cleaned and disinfected, and then it’s filled and sealed.
Do you want to learn more about the treatments we offer for cavities? Get in touch with professionals from Precision Smile Dentistry at 963 Garrisonville Rd. #101, Stafford, VA 22556. Or, you can connect with us via call. Dial (540) 300-2255 for an appointment.