What are the Different Types of Cavities—And How Are They Treated?

Woman holding face in painYou brush, you floss, you visit us every 6 months for dental checkups, and each time you sit down in the chair, you cross your fingers and hope for no dental cavities. There are many reasons to take good care of your oral health, but if you ask most people, avoiding cavities will be number one on their list. It’s understandable because having a cavity is no fun at all. 

The symptoms of cavities—toothache, spontaneous pain in the mouth, jolts of pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot, or cold, and even pits or stains on the surface of your teeth—are quite unpleasant. But did you know that not all cavities are the same? 

The 3 Different Types of Cavities

Most cavities can be diagnosed with a dental exam and/or x-rays, allowing your dentist to identify the type of cavity and best course of treatment. These types are: 

Smooth Surface Cavities

These cavities are less serious than the other types and are also easier to prevent. Just as the name suggests, smooth surface cavities are found on the smooth outside surfaces of the teeth, where plaque can build up if not properly removed through brushing and flossing. 

Pit or Fissure Cavities

This type of tooth decay occurs on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, rather than on the sides as with smooth surface cavities. If you run your tongue over your back teeth, you’ll feel the many ridges of the surface. The uneven texture of this part of the tooth makes it an easy place for bacteria and plaque to hide if you’re not brushing your teeth thoroughly. 

Root Decay

Cavities on the root portion of the tooth are most common with older adults or those who have receding gums. The root is normally protected by the gums; when gums recede, the exposed roots can be left open to decay, especially if proper oral hygiene is not maintained. 

The treatment for each type of cavity depends on the severity, among other factors; however, the most common treatment for a cavity is getting a filling. 

Natural-Looking, Tooth-Colored Fillings

The dental filling procedure consists of drilling/removing the decayed tissue from the tooth, then filling the hole left behind with gold, amalgam (silver-colored material), or resin substance to restore the tooth. Fillings for dental cavities don’t have to be an eyesore; they can be tinted to match your real tooth color. 

Here at Jordan Dentistry, we offer tooth-colored fillings, which help preserve the natural look of your smile. Cosmetic and restorative dentistry are our specialties, so give us a call at 770-888-6262 if you’re interested in making an appointment. We would love to help you maintain your oral health as well as gain the confidence of a healthy, beautiful smile!

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