The Three Types of Cavities

Did you know that there are three types of cavities? Keep reading to learn about the three types of cavities, and how you can avoid them!

Smooth Surface Decay

This cavity is probably one of the easiest to prevent, and maybe even to treat. These occur on the smooth parts of the tooth (hence their name) and come from plaque and bacteria that sits too long on the tooth. You may be able to prevent these by practicing good oral hygiene. Flossing in particular can cut down on the time that plaque sits on the teeth, thus preventing this type of cavity. Keep in mind that if conditions are right, you may be able to treat a cavity of this type with fluoride, so make sure to ask your dentist what’s the best treatment for your cavity.

Pit and Fissure Decay

These cavities occur on the chewing surface of your back teeth, where your teeth are a little more flat than sharp. Your molars are not perfectly flat, and these fissures help you break up your food properly as you chew. As a result, these fissures and pits in the teeth can be exposed to plaque and bacteria in food or drinks that sits around longer than it should. These cavities are often preventable, especially if you are good at remembering to brush your teeth twice a day.

Root Decay

This kind of cavity occurs at the root of the tooth, where decay can cause some serious damage. These cavities are often seen in older people, especially those who have instances of receding gums. This is because as the gums recede, they expose the root of the tooth that was previously protected. This new exposed part of the tooth is thus in danger of developing new cavities as it is exposed to more food, sugar, and acid that lingers in the mouth after eating. Though the cavity occurs on the root of the tooth, it’s often on the surface of the root (not at the very bottom of the root).

Regardless of the type of cavity you have, seeing a dentist early can help you avoid complications. If you feel like you may have a cavity, or are due for your half-yearly cleaning, call us today at (208) 322-1112 to schedule a consultation.