Perhaps one of the most dreaded phrases a child - or adult- can hear during a regular check-up is “You have a cavity.” At Jeff M. Morrison & Associates DDS,we never want to say these words! That's why our primary goal is prevention. But it's also helpful to know where you're most likely to get cavities - so you can target where you brush and floss. Here is a list of the places you're most likely to get a cavity.
In the Grooves
On the chewing surface of your back teeth there are many grooves (called fissures) that run in the teeth as well as small holes or pits. These are common places for cavities.
In Between your Teeth
In a normal mouth, all the teeth touch each other except for the ones all the way in the back. In the area between the teeth, it is hard to fit a toothbrush and easy for plaque to grow and create a cavity, especially if you’re not flossing daily.
At the Margins
The margins of fillings, crowns, bridges, and other dental work aren't always as smooth as we’d like it to be. This area, between the restoration and the tooth, is an easy place for plaque to grow.
Just Above the Gumline
This is a common place for cavities, especially for people who drink lots of energy drinks and soda because the acids in these drinks can pool around the gumline and attack the teeth, creating a cavity.
At the Roots
When you have periodontal, or gum, disease the bone and gums that surround the teeth gradually fall down. This exposes the root surface of the teeth. The root surface is much softer than the hard enamel shell that encases the tops of our teeth making it easier for cavities to occur on the root surface.
Next to a Partial
It's easy for food to get trapped between a partial denture and the natural teeth. Plus, there’s usually a metal appliance that fits around the tooth making it easy for plaque to grow. If you have a partial denture, Dr. Morrison or your Dental Hygienist will come up with an oral hygiene program tailor-made for you.
Fillings that have worn away, chipped, cracked or fallen out provide an entry point for the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Good oral hygiene along, with a healthy diet, is the best way to avoid a cavity. Here are some tips:
- Good brushing: Make sure you’re brushing the grooves and pits of your teeth.
- Keep flossing. We recommend flossing every day. If you find you can’t get the floss to go down or come back up from between the tooth, give our office a call.
- Fluoride: It's important for infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years to be exposed to fluoride. Adults benefit from fluoride, too. New research indicates that topical fluoride -- from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments -- are as important in fighting tooth decay as in strengthening developing teeth.
- Regular cleaning and exams. With twice yearly cleaning and exams, you can often prevent a cavity from occurring, or catch one in the earliest stage - which is easiest (and less expensive) to treat.
Worried that you may have a cavity? Don't wait! Give give us a call at (919) 755-3450 or schedule with Dr. Morrison online.