Cavities between teeth have the same origin and physiology as cavities on other surfaces of the teeth. The approach for treatment is different, in that dentists must remove more tooth structure in order to access the area to place a filling. The best defence is to avoid forming cavities at all – especially between teeth! Using preventive measures will benefit both your oral and systemic health and healthy habits will help to control the acid formula that contributes to enamel damage and tooth decay.
What causes a cavity? According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, mouths are in a constant battle to remain cavity-free. When the bacteria that are naturally present in the mouth combine with the sugars you eat, acid forms. This acid will begin to demineralize the tooth enamel, causing white spots that signal a weakening of the tooth. Demineralization can lead to irreversible damage to the enamel, causing cavities to form. Cavities are permanent damage to the tooth that your dentist will need to repair with a filling.
Preventing cavities between teeth requires more effort than preventing cavities on other tooth surfaces. In order to clean the in-between, or interproximal, areas, floss daily or use another type of interdental cleaner. Removing food debris and plaque is essential. In addition to basic oral hygiene, a diet low in sweets, and brushing with fluoride toothpaste will help to avoid cavities.
See your dentist regularly, so he or she can identify cavities in the early stages and begin treatment right away. Your dentist may take X-rays at your appointment to detect any cavities hiding between your teeth.
The best strategy is to prevent decay from forming in the first place. Keep up with your healthy habits to enjoy your healthy mouth and body!