All About The Daily General Dentistry News

The Most Common Cavity Types and How to Treat Them

Nov 9

Cavities are one of the most prevalent dental problems treated by dentists near you or throughout the United States. Cavities are defined by enamel degradation and can be very painful. If you have cavity, you should treat it as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the cavity will worsen and may eventually lead to tooth loss.


Cavities are more likely to form if you practice poor oral hygiene. Plaque, a sticky film that forms on your teeth when you don't wash and floss your teeth frequently, includes bacteria that can harm the enamel. Cavities develop on teeth as a result of the acids that the bacteria in plaque make eating away at the enamel. Additionally, cavities might be facilitated by a diet rich in sugary foods.


Let's discuss cavities in greater detail, including what they are, the many types of cavities, and how to cure them.


What Are Cavities?


Cavities are tiny holes that can form in your teeth as the tooth enamel erodes. Although you might not feel pain if the cavity is minor, tooth pain is the most typical sign of a cavity. Additionally, your teeth may have black stains and pits, or you may be sensitive to hot or cold conditions. A cavity is a dental problem that should never be ignored since, once a cavity has formed, the tooth cannot heal itself, and the situation will only worsen.


Types of Cavities


There are five primary types of cavities:

  • Smooth surface cavities
  • Pit and fissure cavities
  • Root surface cavities
  • Cervical erosions (or acid erosion)
  • Baby bottle tooth decay

Here's a quick overview of each cavity type:


Smooth Surface Cavities: These are the most typical cavities in children. They happen on the chewing surfaces or between the teeth and often have a sticky or sugary substance that helps facilitate the decay process.


Pit and Fissure Cavities: These cavities form in the pits and fissures (grooves) on chewing surfaces. Typically, these cavities are more prevalent in molars since they have deeper fissures.


Root Surface Cavities: As people age, their gum line recedes. This exposes more of the tooth root, which is not as resistant to cavities as tooth enamel. Thus, root surface cavities are more common in adults than children.


Cervical Erosions (or Acid Erosion) - These cavities form on the tooth's cervical (neck) area. The leading cause is acidic beverages such as sports drinks, sodas, and fruit juices. Eating disorders and vomiting can also lead to this type of cavity.


Baby Bottle Tooth Decay: This cavity happens when a baby's teeth are frequently exposed to sugary liquids such as breast milk, formula, or fruit juice. Baby bottle tooth decay is more common in baby teeth since they are less resistant to cavities than in adult teeth.


How to Treat Cavities?


The most common way to treat a cavity is through fillings. Once the decay has been removed, your dentist will place fill in the hole left behind. Different fillers can be used, including gold, amalgam (silver), composite (tooth-colored), and porcelain. The filling will depend on the size of the cavity, where it is located, and your preference.


In some cases, a crown might be necessary to treat a cavity. A height is a "cap" that covers the entire tooth. It is usually made of ceramic or porcelain and color-matched to your natural teeth. Crowns are typically used for more extensive cavities or when there isn't enough tooth remaining to support a filling.


If the cavity is left untreated, it will only worsen over time. Eventually, the decay will reach the pulp (innermost layer) of the tooth, which houses the nerves and blood vessels. This can lead to an infection or abscess, a painful pus-filled pocket that forms around the tooth. At this point, a root canal might be necessary to save the tooth.


We at Seaglass Dental Care are dedicated to helping our patients achieve and maintain optimal oral health. So if you think you might have a cavity, don't hesitate to give us a call. We would be more than happy to help!