Cavities are not just a concern for children, and can affect people at any point of their lives. Cavities can come in three variants, each of which can cause severe pain and dental problems if left unchecked. Understanding the three main types of cavities can help you take measures to prevent them from developing, and maintain your dental health.
What Causes Cavities?
Cavities are not just caused by candy and sugary foods, though these elements play a role. If you have defects in the actual surface of your tooth, or deep cups in your molars, cavities can develop naturally, even with proper and thorough brushing. Additionally, lack of hydration and dry mouth can increase the risk of bacteria developing on and degrading your teeth.
The Three Types of Cavities
- Smooth Surface Cavities: Smooth surface cavities are the most common type of cavity, and are also the most easily prevented as they grow extremely slowly. Smooth surface cavities usually occur in children, and can be identified by white spots on the teeth in which bacteria is allowed to breed and eat away at your tooth's enamel. Proper brushing can help remove bacteria from these locations before they turn into actual cavities.
- Root Cavities: Most commonly found in people in their middle ages, root cavities develop in areas of the tooth that are exposed by a receding gum line. This means that if you have gingivitis or other types of gun disease, you are at increased risk of getting a root cavity. Root cavities are extremely hard to notice, since they are so close to the gum line, and develop from improper gum cleaning. Brushing along the gum line and proper flossing can help prevent root cavities from developing.
- Pit Cavities: Pit cavities develop in the cup on the top of the tooth, which forms a "pit" on the tooth. This area can easily collect debris and bacteria if not properly cleaned, and will develop into a cavity much quicker than either smooth surface or root cavities will. This means that pit cavities will also cause pain much quicker than the other two types of cavities. Thankfully, a dentist can easily notice these cavities, which can allow the problem to be addressed quickly, mitigating the damage. In order to prevent pit cavities from developing, use a fine, soft bristled toothbrush and pay special attention to the tops of your teeth, especially at the rear of your mouth. Visit http://www.nwidentist.com/ for more information.