What Are the Different Types of Cavities That Exist Today? | According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92 percent of adults ages 20 to 64 have dental cavities. Additionally, 26% of adults in the same age range have untreated dental decay.
Luckily, cavities can easily be taken care of with fillings. Before you get a filling, you need to know about the type of cavity you have. Read on to learn about the different types of cavities.
- Smooth Surface Cavity
A smooth surface cavity typically occurs on the teeth found on the sides of the mouth, and they affect the flat exterior surface of the teeth. These cavities are the slowest ones to develop, and they’re also the least common.
But, since they’re slow to develop, they’re also easily treatable. Often, a smooth surface cavity can resolve with the help of fluoride treatment. Toothpaste, gels, varnishes, and fluoride-enriched water can help treat a smooth surface cavity.
Because these cavities take a while to make their way through the smooth surface enamel, a filling usually isn’t necessary. But if the cavity does make its way through the enamel, you will need a filling. You can also talk to your dentist about how to prevent cavities.
- Pit and Fissure Cavities
Pit and fissure cavities are usually found on the rear molars. They can be found on the chewing surfaces of the teeth, where plaque and food can easily get stuck in the crevices and grooves.
Pit and fissure cavities are rather common, especially for those who don’t brush their teeth as often as they should. In some instances, dentists can apply sealants to the teeth to protect those who are at greater risk of developing pit and fissure cavities.
However, sealants will only work if the cavity is found early. If the cavity becomes deeper, the dentist will need to remove the decay and repair the tooth with a filling. In some cases, a root canal or crown may be necessary if the cavity is larger.
- Root Cavities
Root cavities occur on the surface of your tooth’s root. These cavities are more common in older adults, and they’re especially common in seniors who are more likely to suffer from gum disorders such as receding gums.
When your gums recede, the tissue surrounding the teeth becomes much lower, exposing the root surfaces. This leaves your root more susceptible to erosive acids from decay, bacteria, and your diet.
To treat a root cavity, your dentist will begin by removing any tooth decay and then adding a filling to the cavity. If the decay spread to the pulp, then root canal therapy might be needed. If the cavity is too large, then a crown may actually be required.
Types of Cavities: Time to Schedule an Appointment
Now that you know about the different types of cavities, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your dentist. While you’ll sometimes have tooth sensitivity because of a cavity, it’s not always the case.
This is why it’s so important to schedule regular appointments with your dentist to check for cavities. And, check back in with our blog for more dental tips.