Everyone, at some point in their life, will more than likely have the “pleasure” of knowing what it’s like to have cavities. Even those who are sticklers about their dental health and cavity prevention are still susceptible to tooth decay. To make sure you stay in the know with all things dental health, this section of Smarter Smiles with HomeTown Dental is all about cavities!
Cavities, also referred to as tooth decay, is the destruction of your tooth’s enamel, which is the harder, outer layer of your teeth. It doesn’t matter your age or whether it’s a baby or adult tooth, anyone and any tooth is able to develop a cavity. Cavities are caused when plaque, a sticky film of bacteria on your teeth, and sugars from your food and drink mix. The sticky plaque prevents the sugars from being washed away with saliva and will start to slowly eat away at your tooth’s enamel. In its simplest form, a cavity is a little hole in your tooth. However, there are multiple types of cavities.
Types of Cavities
There are three main types of cavities, and they’re classified by where they are located on your tooth. The first type of cavity is a root cavity, which as you can probably guess is located on the surface of the root of the teeth. Root cavities are most common among the elderly and those who suffer from receding gums. The second type is pit and fissure cavities, which are cavities on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Pit and fissure cavities are most commonly found on the back teeth, and are the most common type of cavities. Finally, there are smooth-surface cavities, which occur on the flat, outer surface of the tooth. Both pit and fissure and smooth-surface cavities are caused by inconsistent dental care.
Even though treating cavities have become easier and easier, prevention is still your best bet! To prevent cavities and tooth decay, you should:
- Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste
- Floss daily
- Have a well-balanced diet and limit snacking
- Visit your local family dentist regularly.
Cavities are never fun, and they are preventable! Take the proper steps to maintain your dental health, and you should never have to worry about a cavity. However, you should know that no matter how dedicated you may be to your dental health, you can still develop cavities, which is why you should still visit your dentist every 6 months.
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