How much do you know about tooth decay?

Did you know? Tooth decay can occur on one of three areas of the tooth: the grooves of molars, the smooth outer surfaces/enamel, or, on the roots of our teeth. Do you know where your cavity fillings reside? (If you have any, of course)!


Let our Hamilton dentist explain each of these cavity types, and how you can prevent them:

1. Pit & Fissure Tooth Decay

Premolars and molars are particular teeth that tend to have deep grooves, called “pits and fissures”. These are areas that are, sadly, highly susceptible to tooth decay due to their tendency to trap debris and bacteria… and these areas are difficult for a toothbrush to reach and clean sufficiently. Thankfully, dental sealants can successfully protect the teeth from these kinds of cavities by filling the deep grooves so bacteria can’t get trapped.

2. Smooth Surface Tooth Decay

This kind of decay shows up on the smooth and flat surfaces of the teeth, and generally progress at a slower rate, as a result of people not cleaning their teeth as they should. Luckily, in its earliest stages, smooth surface tooth decay can typically be controlled, even reversed, with the right changes made to oral health care practices and with the help of fluoride treatments.

3. Root Decay

Lastly, this type of decay presents itself on the surface of the root of a tooth. This kind of decay is common in seniors, because older adults tend to experience the most gum recession. Gum recession exposes the tooth’s root, which makes it prone to decaying. While you can’t grow the gums back once they’ve receded, you can do what you can to prevent it from happening in the first place by keeping gum disease at bay through daily brushing and flossing. You should also be gentle and use a soft bristle tooth brush, as the gums do recede with forceful cleaning techniques.

Well, there you have it! The three places an individual can experience decay on their teeth. To learn more about what you can do to protect your smile from cavities, talk to our Hamilton dental team today!



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