A majority of people suffer from at least one cavity in their lifetimes. A cavity, an early form of tooth decay, occurs when natural oral bacteria penetrate weak spots in enamel, the hard outer layer of the tooth. Then bacteria eat away at your dental structure to form a hole in the tooth.
A dentist can treat a cavity easily, but what if a cavity forms between your teeth? This tricky location is a common spot for cavity formation. But you might worry if a dentist can reach this hidden portion of your tooth to treat the problem.
You can anticipate a similar treatment to any other cavity if you develop decay between your teeth, known as an interproximal cavity. Read on to learn more about cavity treatment, specifically when decay forms between two teeth.
How Do Dentists Treat Cavities?
Sometimes, a cavity will come with noticeable symptoms so that you know you have a problem with your tooth. You might see white, brown, or black spots or a hole where bacteria damaged the tooth. Or you may feel sensitivity pain because worn enamel exposed underlying nerves within the tooth.
While a dentist can spot some of these cavities with the naked eye, the most accurate way to diagnose tooth decay, especially when these symptoms are not present, is with a dental x-ray. When the dentist identifies a cavity, they treat it by drilling away the decaying part of the tooth. To ensure you stay comfortable, they will numb the area first with a local anesthetic.
The dentist fills the resulting hole with composite resin. This restores the shape of the tooth while also protecting this vulnerable area from further harm. But you might wonder how a dentist can do this process if a cavity forms between two teeth.
How Can My Dentist Access Decay Between Teeth?
Dentists approach treatment for cavities that form between teeth in a similar way to all types of cavities. Since the decay develops in this hidden area, it is mostly diagnosed through x-ray imaging. To access this decay, a dentist will need to drill away more of the tooth to reach the damaged enamel.
Then the dentist places a dental filling, just as they normally would to reshape and shield the tooth following the treatment. If a more extensive amount of enamel was removed, the dentist might need to use a dental crown to cover and protect a more substantial part of the tooth. The filling will preserve your dental structure for about ten years with proper care.
Can I Prevent Cavities Between Teeth?
Cavities between teeth can be harder to prevent because these areas of your smile are difficult to reach with your toothbrush during your oral hygiene regimen. This is why flossing is so important. This process scrubs away plaque that will hurt these spaces between your teeth, lowering your risk for cavities.
You should also limit acidic or sugary foods and drinks in your diet to avoid weakening your teeth. This would make them more susceptible to decay. Using products that contain fluoride can strengthen your teeth so that they can better fight cavities too.