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Fort McMurray, Alberta
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June 5th, 2019

What Are The 3 Main Types of Cavities?

Have you ignored brushing and flossing your teeth and gums? Maybe you have delayed or avoided coming to the dentist? Now you have a cavity that needs attention fast. What type of cavity do you have and how do you fix it?

There are 3 types of cavities

Root Decay

Your roots should never be visible but when you have root decay, you can get cavities on the root of your tooth. There are different treatments available for you depending on the extent of the root decay. If the cavity has reached the pulp, you may need a root canal or if even deeper damage is visible then your dentist may have to extract your tooth.

Root decay sneaks into hidden locations in your mouth, sometimes when you are unaware anything is going on. Visiting the dentist on a regular basis allows your dentist to find any hidden decay with the help of their intraoral cameras and x-ray technology. Some signs of this type of decay are discolouration of your tooth near the gum line, notches on the tooth where it connects to the gums or receding gums that show a yellowish part of the tooth.

Pit and Fissure Decay

Do you have deep grooves on the chewing surfaces of your back teeth? Your dentist may find this type of cavity early and can suggest a toothpaste to clear up the issue but there are more severe cases. If your cavity reaches the dentin you will require a filling, composite or crown.

You may need a sealant placed on your molars to prevent further damage. Your dentist will determine if the pitting and fissuring need to be addressed. A sealant is a protective coating applied to your teeth.

Smooth Surface Decay

Smooth surface decay is the least serious of all 3 types of cavities. This decay occurs on the outside of your flat surfaced teeth. Go to your dentist if you notice this kind of decay. Your dentist may recommend a filling or just a specialized toothpaste. Other options to correct smooth surface decay may include varnish, gel or fluoride enriched water depending on how much enamel your cavity has deteriorated.

Cavities can harm the outer coating of your teeth enamel as well as the inner layer of dentin. When left unattended, cavities can cause further damage to your teeth’s structure leading to more complicated issues.

You can help prevent developing cavities by getting rid of the bacteria that live in your mouth. How do you do this? One great way to avoid dental caries is to visit the dentist twice a year for cleanings and check-ups. Come on, keep your smile shining!

Dr. Gurshant

Medically reviewed by Dr. Gurshant Grewal - a Registered Dentist on June 5th, 2019

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